Sony announced a few years ago that digital imaging would be one of its three main pillars (with the other two being games and mobile). It looks like the decision is paying off, and Sony is doubling down on its plans. After making 40% of all image sensors sold in 2014, Sony is now announcing that it will raise $4 billion in funding in order to increase how many sensors it can produce.
In its announcement, Sony says it plans to issue new shares of stock and put the money towards “increasing production capability of, and research and development for, stacked CMOS image sensors.”
Reuters reports that this is the first time in 26 years the company has issued new stock — a clear sign that Sony is prioritizing image sensors as the business that will help turn the company around. Previously dominant in the consumer electronics market, Sony has been losing money in recent years due to unprofitable products such as televisions and smartphones.
Now, instead of mainly producing gadgets under its own brand, Sony is supplying high-quality components for other companies. Sony’s sensors in digital cameras and phones have been highly regarded in recent years, and earlier this year it was reported that Sony was only able to meet 50% demand for its sensors from Chinese smartphone makers.
Sony wants to make sure that it will always have enough sensors to meet growing global demand, and the $4 billion in cash should go a long way toward making that happen.
Image credits: Header photograph by Lee