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Things can happen if you rely on one sensor manufacturer
  • Due to the earthquake of April 14, 2016 and subsequent earthquakes in the Kumamoto region, Sony Corporation ("Sony") expects that it will be unable to formulate the forecast for its consolidated results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 in the usual timeframe.

    The survey of damage to the Kumamoto Technology Center conducted so far has revealed damage to certain parts of the building, clean rooms and production equipment. The timeframe for resuming operations has yet to be determined. The Kumamoto Technology Center is the primary manufacturing site for image sensors for digital cameras and security cameras as well as for micro-display devices.

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  • Thins are not good

    • Damage to the building itself has been confirmed to be primarily to the upper layer of the building, and reinforcement work will be carried out in this area.
    • The clean rooms used for wafer processing and manufacturing equipment, both located on the lower layer of the building have not been significantly damaged, and preparations are now underway to resume production. Manufacturing operations are targeted to resume around the end of May 2016.
    • Regarding back-end processes, such as assembly and measurement, as well as processing operations for components such as camera modules, which are carried out on the upper layer of the building, Sony has confirmed that there is damage to the clean rooms, manufacturing equipment and other equipment. Further analysis of the extent of this damage is currently underway.
    • Damage to finished product inventory such as image sensors at Kumamoto Technology Center is limited, and shipments of these products have already resumed. The status of semi-finished and uncompleted products is currently being confirmed.
  • New update

    • Operations at Sony Kumamoto Technology Center (located in Kikuchi Gun, Kumamoto Prefecture), which is the primary manufacturing site of image sensors for digital cameras and security cameras, had been suspended due to the impact of the earthquakes.
    • However, as of May 9, 2016, testing operations, which are one of the back-end processes carried out on the upper layer of the building, have resumed and other back-end processes, such as assembly, are also expected to restart sequentially beginning May 17, 2016.
    • Wafer processing operations located on the lower layer of the building are expected to restart sequentially beginning May 21, 2016.
    • Although there was a delay in the supply of components to Sony from certain third-party suppliers that also have manufacturing facilities in the Kumamoto region, inventory adjustments have been made and a timeframe for regaining supply levels is now in place, so no material impact is anticipated on Sony's business operations.
    • The impact on Sony's consolidated results due to the effect of the earthquakes, including from opportunity losses, as well as expenses for recovery and reinforcement work, continues to be evaluated.
  • Sony estimates the impact from the quake on its image sensor and digital camera operations would total 105 billion yen this business year. It says the impact on the company as a whole would be 115 billion yen.

    Sony decided to terminate the development and manufacturing of high-functionality camera modules for external sale, the mass production of which was being prepared at the Kumamoto Technology Center, as a result of a reconsideration of the strategy of this business from a long-term perspective. Approximately 30 billion yen in expense is expected to be incurred due to this termination

    It seems that in later part Samsung played some role.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev "It seems that in later part Samsung played some role." How so?

  • @4CardsMan

    Samsung after Sony makes most advanced camera modules, and this year Samsung proposed goal to eliminate Sony here moving all resources (from NX also).

    Real battle is being played on mobile field, if Samsung wins Sony will also withdraw from large markets quite soon.

  • RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. anticipate some impact on the future production of our lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, interchangeable lenses and digital compact cameras, because some of our suppliers in this region have been affected by the earthquakes and the continuing aftershocks.

    Again - main supplier is Sony (for sensors).

  • Samsung wins Sony will also withdraw from large markets quite soon

    Does that mean Sony will withdraw from smartphone market? Or camera market?

  • Does that mean Sony will withdraw from smartphone market? Or camera market?

    Fight is for smartphone market. Of Sony will loose this fight they will also leave camera market after some delays as they won't have money to finance research.

    Same as compacts previously financed big cameras main components improvement, now it is smartphones.

  • Nikon DL shipment will delay to at least September.

    Sony is the cause.

    As it seems, Sony hide real damage, especially to large chips productions.

  • Due the Kumamoto earthquake that halted the Sony sensor production for over one month we will get the following camera shipment delay:

    1. Nikon DL compacts are delayed till October
    2. Limited production and supply of D750, D810
    3. Not expecting new shipments of all Sony ILCE until late July or August
  • Today Panasonic Japan confirmed that the Kumamoto earthquake damage will have a negative impact on their digital camera business. Panasonic didn’t disclose any details about the possible shipment delays and affect on the future roadmap.


  • Olympus Corporation itself has not suffered any direct damages due to the earthquakes, but several suppliers of parts for Olympus imaging products including interchangeable lens digital cameras, interchangeable lenses, and compact digital cameras have been affected. It is likely that this will negatively impact production and sales of some Olympus imaging products. The exact scale of the impact is currently under investigation.

    Another guys came with obvious statement.

  • Sony has issues with following cameras:

    • Sony FS5 body and kit
    • Sony FS7 body and kit
    • Sony PXW-Z150

    Delays can reach 1.5-2 months.

  • Nikon D3300 is discontinued, but replacement can't be presented and shipped due to sensors, and also smart idea to restrict Wi-Fi usage.

  • Sony forecast


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  • Sony Japan issued an official statement.
    Following the Kumamoto earthquake damage there is a supply issue that will cause a delay on the production of the following cameras:

    • Sony α7
    • Sony α7R
    • Sony α7S
    • Sony α5100
    • Sony α77 II
    • Sony α99
  • Today Sony CEO Hirai said that the Sony Kumamoto sensor factory will gain the 100% full production capability in August only(!). This means the factory had a stop (or partial stop) of over 4 months. This surely will affect the original camera release roadmap. Sony A5300, new RX cameras, new A7 cameras and the A9 may be released much later than planed by Sony.

    Goog. Good... All proceeding as planned.

  • image

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  • Major companies had to delay their camera release roadmap by at least four months.

    More good news.

    This is how capitalism work, greed always wins over fear.

  • From Sony quarterly report

    Sales decreased 22.9% year-on-year (a 14% decrease on a constant currency basis) to 144.4 billion yen (1,402 million U.S. dollars). This decrease was primarily due to a significant decrease in sales of image sensors, reflecting the impact of a decrease in image sensor production due to the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes, lower demand for image sensors for mobile products, and the impact of foreign exchange rates. Sales to external customers decreased 21.4% year-on-year.

    Operating loss of 43.5 billion yen (423 million U.S. dollars) was recorded, compared to operating income of 32.7 billion yen recorded in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

  • Sony will reduce its equipment investment for CMOS image sensors to JPY70 billion (US$691.53 million) in fiscal 2016, while maintaining its sensor production capacity at 70,000 12-inch equivalent wafers a month during the fiscal year, according to Digitimes Research.

    The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for applications of CMOS image sensors in the automobile, security controls and medicare is expect to reach over 27%, respectively, during the 2014-2020 period compared to a 4% for the handset sector, the largest outlet for Sony's image sensors currently. Additionally, Sony's share in the automobile CMOS image sensor market is also relatively low currently.

    Companies move to highly profitable auto and medical sensors. Capitalism.

  • Sony plans

    Sony plans to raise 440b Yen through the issuance of new shares and bonds, all a part of its ongoing Mid-Term Corporate Strategy. "Sony plans to use the money from the issuance of new shares to increase its production capacity of stacked CMOS censors in its Devices segment, which it hopes will lead to additional profits.

    Specifically, Sony aims to use about 188 billion Yen from the common stock offering to fund capital expenditures in the Devices segment, and the remainder to fund R&D there. From the convertible bonds issuance, Sony will use 51 billion Yen to fund capital expenditures on devices, 25 billion Yen to redeem outstanding bonds upon maturity, and the remainder to repay longterm debts."

    So, most money actually will go to debt servicing.

  • Sony A7r II, A7r, A7 II and A7 cameras are out of stock in many US and EU stores now.

  • we didn’t say they would be full production by the end of August. From a standpoint of creating or fixing all the backlog situation. They said they would have the lines up and running full capacity by the end of August, which we use and we take numerous months after that to catch-up on the backlog.

    From Ambarella report, Sony sensors issues continue(!)