Camera module suppliers to Samsung Electronics reported poor earnings for the entire year of 2020 due to poor sales of flagship smartphones and intensifying competition.
Earnings of Mcnex, Partron, Powerlogics and Cammsys in 2020 noticeably lower than in 2019, the companies’ forecast statements showed.
Mcnex, Partron and Powerlogics have all seen their sales exceed 1 trillion won in 2019 from Samsung’s adoption of multi cameras for its smartphones. At the time, camera module companies saw their earnings increase despite the overall smartphone market slowing down in growth. But in 2020, Samsung reported lower-than-expected sales of its Galaxy S20 series. This also led to intenser competition among camera module manufacturers to win orders, leading to lower profitability for them.
Partron is expecting sales to decline by 6% to 1.18 trillion won, while operating income nosedived by 60.1%. The company failed to supply camera modules for the Galaxy S20 series but it won many orders in the second half of the year to offset this.
Powerlogics is expecting a sales of 927.3 billion won, a decline of 16.3%. The company posted operating loss of 26 billion won.
Cammsys reported sales increase of 26.5% to 866.8 billion won, but operating income dropped 30.4%. Its operating margin was a mere 1.3%.
Samsung shipped more of its mid-tier Galaxy A series in the second half of 2020 but these products have lower unit prices for camera modules to flagship phones. The strong won in the fourth quarter also negatively affected earnings of the companies.
In 2021, competition among the camera module suppliers is expected to be intense as it was last year. More camera modules are being put in smartphones but there are also increasing factors that put unit prices down.
Namuga and Coasia, which have supplied camera modules mostly for the front cameras in smartphones, are also supplying them for the back cameras now for Samsung. The tech giant, instead of receiving supply for multiple camera modules, is also ordering single modules from suppliers and assembling them itself.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics, which mostly supplied camera modules for flagship smartphones to Samsung Electronics, have also now begun supplying camera modules for mid-tier phones. The company won the order to supply camera modules for Galaxy A72 and A52, which combined ship around 30 million units per year.