A quick look at Statista and IDC research firms will show you that Sony is not doing great selling smartphones when compared to its competition. But this doesn’t mean they are doing badly in the mobile industry. In fact, they currently dominate the mobile imaging market.
Sony has been a main supplier of camera sensors for manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Motorola and others. You have heard the word “Exmor” being thrown around, right? Yeah, Sony’s cameras are all over the smartphone business, but plans for expansions don’t seem to be ending where they currently are.
According to “sources with knowledge of the deal”, Sony and Toshiba are getting ready to sign a deal for 20 billion Yen (close to $165 million USD). If all goes smoothly, this would make Sony the owner of Toshiba’s image sensor division, which would include the plant in Oita, Southern Japan. Toshiba would then pull out of this business and look for greener pastures in other markets.
Of course, Sony declined to comment and Toshiba didn’t say much, but the latter at least gave an answer when contacted. A Toshiba official told Reuters the company was still debating what the best option for their LSI semiconductor and discrete semiconductor businesses was. Not that this tells us anything, but they are also not denying the rumor.
Toshiba is currently not in a bad position, following an accounting scandal in which they overstated about $1.3 billion in earnings going back to 2008/2009. Now they are trying to reconsider their business strategy and the imaging department just might be better in Sony’s hands.
On the other hand, this will simply make Sony a much stronger player in the mobile imaging market, but we are not exactly complaining. They do a good job and will probably only improve thanks to this deal. Of course, if it actually goes through. The deal will probably go public soon enough, so stay in focus!