South Korea’s MCNEX will be expanding its production lines for camera modules supplied to Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra in a bid to respond to the growing demand for the high-end smartphones, according to industry sources on April 6.
The Galaxy S20 series itself – launched in March 2020 – is showing lackluster sales, but that of the S20 Ultra is surpassing projections. Among the S20 series, the Ultra model has reportedly sold more than half of the total number of handsets sold so far.
MCNEX supplies modules for the 40 million-pixel front camera in the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and the 12 million-pixel for the rear camera. For the front camera, MCNEX is the sole supplier.
On the back of such deals, MCNEX posted record-highly monthly sales for the month of February this year. The firm’s overall sales goal for this year stands at KRW 1.6 trillion, up 25% from 2019. MCNEX is expected to hover near that goal, since Samsung is increasingly applying multi-cameras to its smartphones. MCNEX is also supplying modules for the quad-camera fitted in the budget-type Galaxy A31.
As for its 3D ToF sensors, MCNEX is expected to focus on supplying to carmakers, as the technology is widely applicable for autonomous cars.
Contrary to some industry sources that said MCNEX was preparing to supply ToF modules to Samsung, MCNEX does not have the necessary production lines. Those close to MCNEX say the company does not see much of a margin in smartphone ToF modules.
MCNEX is expected to suffer lower operating profit from selling camera modules, compared to 2019.This is because module-makers have been competing to cut the cost for their clients, such as Samsung.
Industry watchers say the demand for smartphones in the post-coronavirus period, will be a key factor in gauging MCNEX’s success this year. In 2019, the company posted sales of KRW 1.26 trillion to reflect an 81% on-year increase, and an operating profit of KRW 112 billion that was 173% higher than 2019.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.