Sony has released an official “statement regarding the impact of the spread of the novel coronavirus,” in which the company details exactly how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted each of their businesses. As expected, the news is pretty negative across the board.
The full statement, which you can read here, touches on every one of Sony’s many businesses: Game & Network Services, Music, Pictures, Electronics Products & Solutions, Imaging & Sensing Solutions, and Financial Services. We’ll focus on the two that are relevant to us: EP&S, which includes the camera business, and Imaging & Sensing, which includes the image sensor business.
First, the good news. According to Sony, the pandemic has had “no material impact on the production of CMOS image sensors, including any impact on the procurement of materials.” The company still expects this segment to take a hit because of supply chain issues for smartphone manufacturers, but Sony isn’t currently having any issues actually making image sensors.
For the camera business, the news is a bit more grim. In addition to closing down its own manufacturing plants in Malaysia, Sony says that “the flow of resources from suppliers in Asia has become unstable, having a wide-ranging impact on the manufacturing of goods in this segment.” Sales of Sony products are “also being affected,” says the statement.
None of this should come as a surprise, but it’s good to have confirmation straight from Sony.
On the bright side, camera companies that use Sony chips (so: most of them) shouldn’t have any issues acquiring image sensors for their latest products; on the not-so-bright side: it’s likely that every camera and lens currently in production is being impacted by supply chain issues and factory closures.