The camera module industry, a dynamic ecosystem

1st April 2019
Posted By : Alex Lynn
The camera module industry, a dynamic ecosystem

The camera module industry has reached a new stage in its development. With $27.1bn of global revenues generated in 2018, the market maintains a 9.1% CAGR for the next five years. This industry, which covers image sensors, lenses, voice coil motors, illuminators and camera assemblies, is showing an impressive $45.7bn market by 2024. 

The overall growth is a combination of mega trends monitored by Yole Group companies including Yole and System Plus Consulting.
Both partners combine their expertise to deliver their vision of the CCM market and technology trends with two significant reports, Status of the Camera Module Industry and Mobile Camera Module Comparison.

Status of the Camera Module Industry report provides up-to-date market data on key CCM metrics and dynamics including revenue forecast, volume shipment and component share, as well as market share with detailed breakdown by player. In addition, this analysis is offering an in-depth understanding of the competitive landscape with the CCM value chain, infrastructure and players. 

System Plus Consulting proposes an impressive comparative study with solid insights on the structure and the technology of 28 CCMs extracted from seven flagship smartphones from several major brands: the Apple iPhone X/XS Max/XR, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Xiaomi Mi8 Explorer Edition, Oppo Find X and Vivo X21UD.The team detail the main OEM’s choices and reveal in this report, state of the art of camera modules for leading flagships in 2018.

What are the CCM market drivers? How is the CCM ecosystem organised? How do players collaborate together? What are their technology choices? System Plus Consulting and Yole analysts propose today a relevant snapshot of this industry.

“The main upward driver is the increasing number of cameras in products such as smartphones and cars,” said Pierre Cambou from Yole. 3D sensing cameras are part of this trend, invading mobile devices, computing and automotive industries. 

If the nature of camera module making is unchanged with 3D sensing, illuminator submodules create a new market area. This brings new technologies, such as WLO, along with it. The market for devices involved in illumination for 3D sensing accounted for $720m in 2018 and will expand nine-fold within five years, reaching $6.1bn by 2024. This is helping compensate for the shipment volume slowdown in smartphones, computers, tablet and digital cameras. 

While the complexity and cost of each individual camera is still increasing on average, reaching $5.5 per unit, Yole’s analysts point out now more diversity. In recent years the distribution of resolution, optical format and camera type was only heading towards uniformly high specifications. But in 2018 the smartphone market has evolved quite dramatically. In an attempt to work around the increasing cost of imaging, mid-range phones have been implementing 2 and 5Mp formats that were previously fading away. 

“This new equilibrium between volume, cost and specification is lowering Yole’s forecast with respect to the previous 2017 report, but overall the direction of the industry remains highly attractive”, explained Cambou.

From her side, Audrey Lahrach, Cost Analyst from System Plus Consulting, commented: “The CCM ecosystem is extremely dynamic. Market has seen several innovations this year, especially within the smartphones industry.” 

The main one is the multiple camera approach, seen in multiple models. The average is around four cameras per smartphone, announces System Plus Consulting in its new Mobile Camera Module Comparison report. Four years ago, only two cameras on average could be found in smartphone. Today this number has risen to four in the high end models in order to add other features such as face recognition, with infrared camera modules, in the front camera or to improve the zoom in the rear camera. 

The second innovation is the generalisation of OIS on the rear CCM. And last, four out of seven smartphones analysed by System Plus Consulting have 3D cameras for face recognition.

Under its comparison report, the reverse engineering company analyses rear and front-facing CCMs including standard mono modules, dual modules, iris scanners, 3D camera modules and triple modules. It also compares them in terms of structure overview, module integration, lens numbers and dimensions, CIS resolution, pixel size and other parameters.

Yole and System Plus Consulting propose today a comprehensive overview of the CCM industry and understand the technical choices made the leading smartphones manufacturers.

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