According to a Nikkei report, Sony is looking to prepare its sensor business to any appreciation in the yen by cutting costs, raising production yields for new offerings and increasing sales of image sensors used in automobiles. The report also says that a stronger yen benefits Sony’s overall operations, but that for semiconductors the situation is different, with a 1 yen appreciation against the dollar decreasing annual profit by 4.5 billion yen.
The measures are designed to make the business unit less reliant on the highly volatile demand from the smartphone sector. Sony expects an image sensor output of 100,000 units a month at the end of March 2018, with the volume rising another 10-20% by 2020. The company also projects the semiconductor business unit to be one of the most important this year, with 170 billion yen in profit only trailing the Japanese company’s gaming and financial divisions.
According to analyst firm Techno Systems Research Sony is the global image sensor market leader, holding almost 50% market share in value. However, competition from Samsung and other manufacturers is growing.