Sony Corp. will boost production of CMOS image sensors from current monthly production capacity of 88,000 wafers in 300mm including those produced by the third party consigned partners to 100,000 wafers per month by March 2018. Demand for the image sensors are mounting for smartphone cameras, digital cameras and on vehicle cameras. As smartphones popular in China are getting feature-driven especially camera features to take better photos that most users post their photos on their SNS sites such as Instagram and Facebook. In China, dual camera models are getting popular with a high-quality front camera as well as the main cameras to take better selfie pictures. In order to take better selfies, the quality of the front camera is getting important. Image sensors are being used now to detect color wavelength or depth information that the human eyes cannot recognize, to be mounted on cars and for IoT devices. Sony will absorb such demand for industrial use to sell 680 billion worth sensors for fiscal 2017 ending March 2018 and its semiconductor business including LSI chips to sell 880 billion yen with profit in operation to 120 billion yen from 7.8 billion loss in the previous year.
Seiko Epson Co. said it will market 12 new projector models for business and home use. The company has readied seven models for business use and five for home use. For the business use, all the models feature brightness range of 3,200lm to 3600lm, keeping high visibility even in a bright room, and resolution from SVGA to WUXGA. All the models are compact and lightweight – less than 3kg. The top of the line, model EB-U42 features full HD resolution (WUXGA 1920 x 1200) and brightness of 3600lm, carrying a suggested price tag of 132,000 yen. The most affordable model EB-S05 features 3200lm and SVGA (800 x 600) resolution, with suggested price of 44,980 yen. The company targets to sell 150,000 units a year. Epson has readied five models as home projectors in two high-quality lines with 2 models and one basic model. The high-quality lines come with the projector itself as a set, with a projector and screen. All the models feature brightness of up to 2500lm enabling viewing in a bright room. The basic model EB-W05 features WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution and 3300lm, selling under expected price of 64,980 yen. The high-quality models, the EH-TW5650 is equipped with a 1080p panel equivalent to full HD resolution, brightness of 2500lm and contrast ratio of 60,000:1. When using a media streaming device, it can be wirelessly connected with AV equipment. It will be available at an expected price of 129,980 yen (without a screen) and 135,980 yen (with a screen). The EH-TW650/TW650S features full HD resolution, brightness 3100lm and contrast of 15,000:1. Expected selling prices are 99,980 yen and 105,980 yen, respectively.
Nikon Corp. announced on August 3 the financial results for the first quarter ending on June 30, reporting that the total revenue for the period gained a 0.6% year-on-year to 170.3 billion yen, profit in operation declined 31.1% to 12.4 billion yen and net profit down 39.5% to 8.89 billion yen. In the Imaging Products segment, sales of mid-class cameras such as the D7500, a digital SLR camera released in June this year were firm, with unit sales increasing significantly in the U.S. Accordingly, the performance in revenue and operating profit exceeded the planned targets, but compared to the last year, a decease in revenue and operating profit was recorded due to a product mix change caused by the stagnant demand for the D5 and the D500. The company sold 720,000 units of interchangeable-lens cameras, 1.08 million units of interchangeable lenses and 770,000 compact digital cameras. The company said the unit sales of compact digital cameras declined but the average unit price rose about 30%.