For the first time in 13 years, sales of CMOS sensors for cameras for various purposes are expected to drop by the end of the year. The main reasons include a decline in demand for smartphones, a low growth rate in the number of cameras built into smartphones, and a general crisis in the world economy. This is proven by the results of market research by IC Insights.
CMOS sensors have risen to the top of the optoelectronics market in terms of sales over the last few decades. They account for more than 40% of all sales from the sale of optoelectronic semiconductors every year. In 2022, however, this category will decline for the first time in 13 years. According to expert forecasts, sales will fall by 7% to $18.6 billion and in units by 11% to 6.1 billion copies. The projected decline in 2022 comes after two years of marginal growth, 5% last year and 4% the year before.
The decline in sales this year reflects the general state of the market for smartphones and laptops with an integrated camera after the demand for high-quality internet and online video conferencing solutions rose significantly during the most difficult months of the pandemic. The market is expected to recover moderately over the next year, with revenue expected to grow 4% to $19.2 billion in 2023 and a further 13% in 2024, setting a new revenue record of 21 raises $.7 billion.
In addition to weak demand for camera sensors for smartphones and laptops, CMOS sales will be negatively impacted by a general deterioration in the global economy due to high inflation and rising energy prices, as well as trade restrictions that the US has imposed on China, experts at IC Insights. It is known that some representatives of the Chinese IT market called the situation with camera sensors a “perfect storm” caused by both a slowdown in the growth of mid-range smartphone shipments and an unexpected delay in the increase in the number of built-in cameras became into new gadgets.
Market leader Sony, which accounted for 43% of global CMOS sensor sales in 2021, is known to have reported a 12.4% drop in sales in the first fiscal quarter of 2023 that ended in June 2022. In the first half of calendar year 2022, it took action to comply with technical trade restrictions imposed by the United States on Chinese electronics manufacturers. Sony continues to expect inventories to decrease through early 2023 and market conditions to “normalize” in the second half of the company’s fiscal year, which ends next March.
About two thirds of the CMOS sensors are used in smartphones today. According to IC Insights, that share will drop to around 45% by 2026. A slow but steady recovery in the market is being driven by a new cycle of smartphone updates and increasing adoption of embedded cameras in other systems, such as those associated with automated transportation platforms, medical solutions and smart security systems. The market’s compound annual growth rate is expected to reach 6% from 2021 to 2026 – reaching $26.9 billion by the last year mentioned in the forecast.