Status of the Camera Module Industry 2023

This market research report was originally published at the Yole Group’s website. It is reprinted here with the permission of the Yole Group.

  • New sources of growth and technology innovation to sustain the competition in the camera module industry

  • Soft landing before a new take-off at 4.8% CAGR by 2028

The compact camera module (CCM) industry witnessed growth until 2021, driven by mobile phones, electric vehicles, tablets and laptops demand. In 2022, revenue stagnated to $35.5B. The market is expected to rebound in 2023, with a 4.8% CAGR projected from 2022 to 2028, to reach $47B, a slower growth compared to what was expected, mainly caused by the long-term decrease of the smartphone volume shipments by 14% and downwards adjustment of automotive cameras shipments. In 2022, mobile and consumer applications represented 96% of shipments, with mobile accounting for 5.1B units, automotive constituted 3% with 218M modules. Module complexity is rising, impacting the ASP. The mobile market is transitioning towards higher resolution and larger sensors. Despite lower smartphone shipments, the camera module market is expected to grow, sustained by high-end products and new sensing technologies. Automotive cameras are proliferating, driven by safety regulations and increasing demand for car automation. Industrial imaging is thriving, particularly in logistics and automation applications.

Slowing mobile and consumer market reshuffling the camera module ecosystem

In 2022, CCM revenues stagnated to $35.5B but LG Innotek grew 24%, supplying Apple and entering Automotive. Q Tech excelled until 2021, while Sunny Optical and Ofilm had faced revenue drops due to past Huawei restrictions. Foxconn (Sharp) and Semco have remained stable. In the CIS market, automotive grew, raising CIS prices. Sony strengthened, Omnivision retreated, and Samsung downsized, favoring SK Hynix share. Over 90% of optics lens set revenues, that totaled $5.2B in 2022, came from Greater China, Largan facing competition and sharing growth with others. Japanese CCM actuator leaders have outperformed Korean counterparts except TDK, high-end OIS actuators staying with top players. Despite slowdowns, investments continued in capacity, tech, and licensing. Major investments in CCM production capacity in Vietnam factories exceeded $6B. Market share rankings shifted, but leaders remained dominant, limiting space for newcomers.

Rising innovation activity to support higher value products

In a stagnant consumer market, imaging leaders focus on enhancing product value and performance. As an example, zoom capabilities have driven smartphone competition, and finally Apple introduced periscope cameras in 2023. Jahwa and Semco developed ball-guide actuators, inducing patent battles in the landscape. CIS industry innovations aim for smaller pixels, better SNR, and lower power consumption, with Sony, Omnivision, and STMicroelectronics exploring triple-stack sensors. Sensitivity increase is desired for low-light and 3D sensing, with a low-cost SWIR imaging segment emerging, and event-based imaging offers low latency and low-power solutions. Camera module manufacturing matures, with more assembly complexity. Plastic lenses dominate mobile imaging, where glass is also emerging. High-res CIS needs quality lenses; alternatives like liquid and metalenses emerge. Beyond traditional VCM technology, SMA actuators offer lightweight and energy-efficient solutions, suiting foldable smartphones.

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