Samsung Electronics is planning to apply optical image stabilizers (OIS) on the cameras of its 2021-model Galaxy A series, TheElec confirmed on Wednesday.
Until now, South Korean tech giant has reserved the feature for its flagship smartphones the Galaxy S series and Galaxy Note series.
The higher spec models of the upcoming mid-tier Galaxy A smartphones will get OIS, people familiar with the matter said. OIS prevents blurry pictures by using a gyroscope on the camera module to move the lens to counteract the movement of the smartphone.
Samsung will first apply OIS on Galaxy A71, Galaxy A81 and Galaxy A91, which are relatively higher-priced and selling well globally. The South Korean tech giant is estimated to sell tens of millions of these models a year.
Its flagship Galaxy S series sold around 35 million units per year and its Note series 10 million units up to 2019.
The decision to put in OIS on its mid-tier brands was likely made as flagship smartphones have reached their limit in sales, the people said. Sales of the Galaxy S20 series was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but future flagship smartphones are not expected to fare any better due to the saturation of the market, they added.
Major smartphone vendors are more and more turning to expand their mid-tier line-up. Apple launched its iPhone SE in April, which costed 550,000 won in South Korea, with OIS and wireless charging.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics, a sister firm of Samsung Electronics, will now likely expand its camera module supply for the Galaxy A. It has so far focused on Samsung’s flagship smartphones and supplied only some modules for the Galaxy A series.
The company’s camera module business last year posted 3.35 trillion won in sales but is expected to mark 2.9 trillion won this year, according to South Korean analysts.
Competition between Samsung Electronics’ camera module suppliers such as MCNEX, Partron and Cammsys will likely intensify going forward. Camera modules with OIS commands a higher price tag and Galaxy A series are strong sellers, making it an attractive order. Samsung Electronics Mechanics owns the patent to OIS, so these companies will likely become original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for the needed modules.
Samsung Electronics will also likely attempt to lower the price tag for OIS. Its current OIS and autofocus components used for its flagship smartphones is estimated to cost around US$3.5.