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Samsung Wants to be World’s No. 1 Camera Sensor Maker

Samsung seeks to catch up with Sony in image sensor market

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Samsung Smartphone, Pixabay
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Samsung Electronics Co. is seeking to narrow its gap with Japanese rival Sony Corp. in the global image sensor market, industry watchers said on Thursday, as the segment is set to post sharp growth down the road on rising demand from smartphones and security solutions.

Industry tracker IC Insights estimated the annual sales of a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor at $13.7 billion in 2018 — up 10 per cent from a year earlier.

The figure is anticipated to reach a whopping $19 billion in 2022, Yonhap news agency reported.

Samsung Wants to be World's No. 1 Camera Sensor Maker.
Samsung Mobile, Wikimedia commons

“CMOS designs keep improving for a variety of light levels, high-speed imaging and greater resolution as well as integrating more functions for specific applications, such as security video cameras, machine vision in robots and cars, human recognition, hand-gesture interfaces, virtual-augmented reality, and medical systems,” IC Insights was quoted as saying.

“In new smartphones, CMOS image sensors are also seeing a new wave of growth with the increase of dual-lens camera systems for enhanced photography,” the tracker added.

Sony and Samsung currently lead the global market for CMOS image sensors, with the Japanese rival holding a slight edge.

In 2016, Sony and Samsung took up 25.6 per cent and 22.6 per cent of the market, respectively.

The two companies held 28.3 per cent and 25.4 per cent, respectively, last year.

Also Read: itel pips Samsung, Turns Fastest Growing Brand in Bangladesh

SK hynix Inc., Samsung’s another South Korean rival, accounted for roughly eight to nine per cent over the cited period.

Industry watchers, however, claimed that Sony takes up 50 per cent of the market in terms of sales, hovering far above Samsung’s 20 per cent.

Samsung launched its image sensor brand named ISOCELL in June last year, in an apparent bid to catch up to Sony’s Exmor products. (IANS)

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Apple, Samsung Settle US Patent Dispute

Terms of the settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, were not available

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In a verdict reached May, 24, 2018, a jury said Samsung must pay Apple $539 million in damages for illegally copying some of the features of the iPhone. The Samsung and Apple logos are seen in this illustration.
In a verdict reached May, 24, 2018, a jury said Samsung must pay Apple $539 million in damages for illegally copying some of the features of the iPhone. The Samsung and Apple logos are seen in this illustration. (VOA)

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday settled a seven-year patent dispute over Apple’s allegations that Samsung violated its patents by “slavishly” copying the design of the iPhone.

Terms of the settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, were not available.

In May, a U.S. jury awarded Apple $539 million, after Samsung had previously paid Apple $399 million to compensate for patent infringement. Samsung would need to make an additional payment to Apple of nearly $140 million if the verdict was upheld.

How much, if anything, Samsung must now pay Apple under Wednesday’s settlement could not immediately be learned. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the terms of the settlement but said Apple “cares deeply about design” and that “this case has always been about more than money.” A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment.

Apple
Representational image. Pixabay

Apple and Samsung are rivals for the title of world’s largest smartphone maker, and the dollar sums involved in the decision are unlikely to have an impact on either’s bottom line. But the case has had a lasting impact on U.S. patent law.

After a loss at trial, Samsung appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In December 2016, the court sided unanimously with Samsung’s argument that a patent violator does not have to hand over the entire profit it made from stolen designs if those designs covered only certain portions of a product but not the entire object.

But when the case went back to lower court for trial this year, the jury sided with Apple’s argument that, in this specific case, Samsung’s profits were attributable to the design elements that violated Apple’s patents.

Also Read: Samsung India Unveils ‘Galaxy On6’ on Flipkart

Michael Risch, a professor of patent law at Villanova University, said that because of the recent verdict the settlement likely called for Samsung to make an additional payment to Apple.

But he said there was no clear winner in the dispute, which involved hefty legal fees for both companies. While Apple scored a major public relations victory with an initial $1 billion verdict in 2012, Samsung also obtained rulings in its favor and avoided an injunction that would have blocked it from selling phones in the U.S. market, Risch said. (VOA)