Sony Invests $345 Million In Image Sensor Production Effort To Address Smartphone Market

Sony's overall struggles are very real, but a few areas of the company have remained best-in-class despite huge global competition. Its gaming prowess is hard to question, with the PlayStation line killing it in terms of sales and critical response. Moreover, the company's imaging department has been delivering top-notch mirrorless cameras that largely outclass anything else in the sector. And, as cameraphone sensors become more important (and the selfie craze continues to gain steam), Sony is doubling down on image sensor perfection.

The company said that it would invest $345 million to "increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors." Sony is a major supplier of camera modules for other smartphone makers; even if you don't own a Sony smartphone, there's a chance that the camera sensor was developed by the company. In fact, the iPhone uses a Sony camera sensor.

As demand grows, it'll up production of stacked CMOS sensors in two Japanese factories, enabling it to boost production by 13 percent by August of next year. It's unclear what smartphone makers are pining for Sony's sensors, but it's obvious that a few OEMs are champing at the bit. Of course, with a rumored large-screen iPhone 6 on the horizon, it could be that Apple's future orders are driving this as well.