Korean camera module suppliers expecting lower profitability
Samsung Electro-Mechanics was named the leading camera module developer for the Galaxy A22 smartphone by Samsung Electronics, TheElec has learned.
It secured the position in Samsung Mobile’s bidding process for the low-tier smartphone. As a leading camera module developer, Samsung Electro-Mechanics will co-develop the camera module with Samsung Electronics and will win large orders for them.
Galaxy A22 is expected to launch in June.
It will have a quad-camera on its back: 48MP, 8MP, 2MP and 2MP. This is the same specification as the Galaxy A21s. Galaxy A22 will also have a 13MP front selfie shooter like the A21s. Coasia is the supplier of camera module for the front camera.
Galaxy A22 is aimed at India and other emerging markets. According to market research firm Omdia, a total of 19.4 million units of Galaxy A21s were sold last year, ranking fifth in the most shipped smartphones in 2020.
Galaxy A21s had a 6.5-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) screen and 5,000mAh battery. It costed 16,498 rupees in India.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics is also supplying camera modules for the upcoming Galaxy A52 and A72 smartphones. The two series combined sell around 30 million units per year. Samsung Electro-Mechanics is also supplying the higher-tier cameras for the models.
The company previously supplied camera modules only for flagship smartphones such as Galaxy S and Note series.
Its entry into the camera module market for mid to low-tier smartphones this year is expected to negatively impact earnings of other camera module suppliers, a person familiar with the matter said.
Other suppliers will have to lower their unit price to compete. Winning orders for low volume smartphones will also prevent them from scaling production, which will force them to switch production lines constantly, they said.
Last year, camera module suppliers to Samsung Electronics saw their earnings decline. Mcnex, Partron and Cammsys saw their operating income drop 47%, 60% and 30%, respectively, from 2019. Powerlogics turned to the red.
Samsung Electronics is expected to ship more smartphones this year compared to 2020. But Namuga and Coasia has also joined the camera module supply chain, which will intensify competition among the suppliers.