Samsung, LG compete to secure camera sensors from Sony, Note 2 falls victim

by: Bogdan PetrovanSeptember 8, 2012

galaxy note 2 camera

Sony has been investing heavily in its CMOS production facilities, spurred by the huge demand for imaging sensors for mobile devices. Apparently, the billion dollars that the Japanese have been pouring into their Nagasaki factory hasn’t been enough to ramp up production to satisfy the high demand for its new 13MP CMOS image sensors.

According to a report from the Korean website DDaily, Samsung had initially planned to fit the newly launched Galaxy Note 2 with a 13MP image sensor supplied by Sony. The report explains some of the rumors about the Note 2 that circulated a few months ago, which eventually proved inaccurate. The Galaxy Note 2 is fitted with “just” an 8MP camera, identical with the one in Samsung’s other flagship, the Galaxy S3.

So, what prevented Samsung from carrying out its plans? It appears that Sony has been unable to satisfy the demand for 13MP sensors, which forced Sammy to settle on the safer 8MP solution.

That didn’t stop the other large phone maker in Korea, LG, from securing an order of 13MP sensors for its upcoming Optimus G. Was LG’s CMOS order the reason why Samsung was unable to get enough sensors for its Galaxy Note 2? Not likely.

LG estimates that it will sell a relatively small number of its Optimus G flagship – about 1 million according to an analyst quoted by DDaily. Samsung on the other hand, expects to push between 5 million and 10 million Galaxy Note 2, a figure that is perfectly feasible considering the success of the Galaxy S3 and the original Galaxy Note.

Most likely, Sony is simply unable to produce that many 13MP sensors right now. I expect however to see the new sensors integrated in Samsung next-generation devices, the Galaxy S4 and the Note 3.

Do you consider the 8MP camera on the Note 2 a letdown?

  • Adsagc

    If its like the s3 well I think it’s fab

  • Kagnon

    Wonder if Fujifilm intends to make sensors for mobile, would be nice to have some competition.

  • EddieT

    all we care about is if the Note 2 will come in a quad core 2GB RAM variant for the US..

  • The camera is not that important, as most people don’t buy phones for cameras. Internet, videos, streaming, etc. is what I need it for. The Note 2 will put many devices to shame in 2013, no device can run or compete with it right now. The only thing that may not impress some, is the size. Other than that, it packs a serious PUNCH. I’m getting one, because I really enjoyed the original SGNote. Thanks for a great device Sammy.

  • I don’t care about mega pixels, as long as the camera optics are good enough to take detail-capturing photo images in many sorts of low-lit conditions.

    • Kagnon

      the latest Lumia 920 seems to be quite good in low light

  • Anonymous

    8 MP camera sucks big time..
    Galaxy S II – 8 MP
    Galaxy Note – 8 MP
    Galaxy S III – 8 MP
    Galaxy Note II – 8 MP

    That fucking samsung wil never improve their cameras. What those idiots at Samsung do is increasing that fucking screen size to crazy levels..
    Mark my words… Phones with improved camera specs will make Note II suck their ass holes in 2013.

    • Its because sony couldn’t supply samsung with their 13mp cameras same thing with iphone 5 sony was going to supply apple camera sensors but didn’t invest enough capital in that business so now only 10% iphone 5’s will have a sony sensor the rest are by omnivision so I’m guessing sony is on the way to becoming the largest camera senor supplier which they will use to their advantage because if they supply all camera sensors for galaxys htcs and iphones that is a good source of revenue for them I suppose

  • zooz

    Yes of course it’s a big letdown for samy’s fans. WTF is this reason preventing them… God didn’t create only Sony! Look to Apple as they are shifting from Sammy as the main supplier for chips to another. One more thing i want to add: sammy, get rid of your touch fkn wiz interface and use stock Android!

  • As much as I hate anything Apple; the iPhone 4S, it probably has one of the, if not the best 8 MP shooters on a cellphone right now. At least in terms of image quality and performance in low-light. The Galaxy S III’s optics just can’t keep up, if the Note II is using the same camera, it’s going to have that problem as well.

    On very sunny or bright settings, the Galaxy S III takes phenomenal pictures, though.

  • SamsaraGuru

    Fortunately, I am not in the market for any new device at the moment, however if I were I suppose it would be a bit of a bummer, but really – if I want to take a GOOD picture and not just something that is spur of the moment – I will use a real camera, not one on a device that by incorporating a camera in the first place is simply trying to be all things to all people in the hope that by offering as many bells and whistles as possible it will yield the added umph needed to push through a “buy now” now decision.

    Would I turn my nose up at 13 MP camera – heck no!