Sony invests $345 million to capitalize on selfie demand



The most important camera upgrade on the iPhone 6 won’t be on in the back, it’ll be the front-facing selfie-cam, and Sony says it’s ready to spend $345 million to make sure it has enough image sensors for future iPhones, iPads, and other tablets and smartphones.

Sony, Apple’s image sensor supplier for the iPhone and iPad, announced today that it is increasing its production capabilities of image sensors for smartphones and tablets by completing work on a factory it purchased from Renesas Electronics in northwestern Japan.

Image sensors have been one of Sony’s main strengths in recent years, providing image sensors for Apple’s main camera, but now it’s looking to capitalize on the selfie-craze by boosting production by 13 percent, which should allow the company to get it’s high-quality sensors into more tablets and smartphones, as well as keep up with the iPhone’s insane demand.

Once the new factory is running, Sony will be churning out 68,000 wafers a month by August 2015, with a mid-term goal to hit 75,000. It’s been rumored that the iPhone 6 will use of Sony’s new Exmor sensor to increase to 13MP on the rear-facing camera, but it’s not known whether they will also supply the front-facing camera this year.

According to Reuter’s report, Sony is also courting other major handset makers to land its image sensors on other device’s front-facing cameras too so that it can increase image quality on selfie and video calls.