Apple's demand for Sony's increased CMOS image sensor capacity for the iPhone 15 has Android OEMs scrambling for new suppliers
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published new research notes this afternoon regarding wide angle camera CIS for the iPhone 15 as follows:
- The wide camera CIS of the two iPhone 15 standard models will be upgraded to 48MP and adopt a new stacked CIS design. Due to the low yield rate, Sony has increased the CIS production capacity for Apple by 100–120% to meet Apple’s demand, resulting in a significant reduction in high-end CIS supply for Android.
- The global CIS wafer reconstruction (RW) key supplier Tong Hsing’s earnings call pointed out that the bottom of the CIS industry is 3Q23.
- China’s semiconductor industry policy continues to implement the domestic replacement strategy, which is the main reason why Tong Hsing is conservative in its future mobile phone CIS RW business (orders continue to be lost to Chinese competitors).
- The current inventory in the CIS supply chain has improved to a normal level (10–14 weeks) from 30–40 weeks in 1H23.
- AI visualization applications will be the other key to driving CIS growth in the long term. The most visible application at this stage is self-driving cars, and the next most likely is robotics.
Kuo believes that Will Semiconductor will take up the slack for the Android market.