cens logo

Taiwan's Optical Lens Makers Profit from Popularity of PCDs

Sep 05, 2011 | By Steve Chuang

Driven by rising demand due to popularity of smartphones that use optical lenses, Taiwanese optical lens manufacturers are gradually challenging the dominance of Japanese counterparts in the global market in recent years.

Three to four years ago, Japanese makers such as Fujinon and Kantatsu commanded major market shares, a trend that has since been altered by Taiwanese companies as Largan Precision Co., Ltd. and Genius Electronic Optical Co., Ltd. who are supplying smartphone lens for especially Apple iPhones.

Global market researchers say that Taiwan's optical lens industry, driven by steady improvements on production capabilities and capacity coupled with more launches of portable communication devices, is expected to command a 40% global share this year.

Most observers agree that Apple iPhones and iPads have over the past few years driven global demand for optical lenses and modules. Last year, Apple sold about 47 million iPhones, whose 5-megapixel lens modules were supplied by Largan and Genius. Such orders are set to grow even larger for iPhone sales have capped 55 million units in the first seven months and will exceed an estimated 100 million units in 2011, with iPad sales to also exceed 30 million units.

Apple Inspired
Other Taiwanese lens makers are also inspired by the Apple boom to vie for orders from smartphone and PCD customers this year. For example, Newmax Technology Co., Ltd., the globally leading supplier of notebook PC camera lens, has garnered orders from Motorola for 5-megapixel smartphone camera lens, in addition to supplying lenses for Kinect, a controller-free gaming device.

Meanwhile Kinko Optical Co., Ltd., supplier of Canon camera lenses, has also started delivery of portable PC lenses since the beginning of July.

An insider says lens makers in Taiwan must jostle for a slice of the competitive segment driven by surging demand for potentially lucrative PCD devices. With more PCDs equipped with higher-end cameras, institutional investors say that market potential is actually bigger than expected, considering that a 5- and 8-megapixel camera, for instance, uses 4 and 5 optical lenses, respectively; while a low-end VGA camera also calls for 2 optical lenses.

Short-term Lead
Despite growing rivalry, Largan and Genius are expected to keep ahead of the competition in the short term, benefitting mainly from the shared customer Apple.

The two companies are reported to continue supplying lenses for Apple's newest iPhone 5 with an 8-megapixel camera. With relatively higher production yield, Largan, commanding nearly 20% of the global market, will reportedly garner a big order from Apple.

With stronger production capability, Largan has always led development of higher resolution lenses, whose 8-megapixel models has been shipped in volume to HTC Corp., a Taiwanese smartphone maker. Also the company has more capacity than peers on the island, with three plants and over 2,000 workers in Taiwan's central city of Taichung. The fourth plant has just been constructed and will come online in the third quarter of next year, when 600 to 1,000 more workers will be recruited.

Witnessing fast-growing demand for PCD lenses, Largan CEO Lin En-ping says the goal is to scramble for as many orders as possible from not only smartphone and tablet PC customers, but also smart TV, medical instrument and TV game console clients. Plus the company is said to be aggressively exploring the VGA camera lens sector, showing ambition to widen lead over the runner-up, Genius.

Largan has already raised its capital expenditure for the second quarter, which institutional investors estimate to be between NT$1.5 billion and NT$2 billion, a figure the company declines to publicize.

The No. 2 lens maker Genius experienced a boom in 2004 by heavily supplying VGA camera lenses to Motorola, but plunged into operating losses due to a switch defect three years ago, and is noted for its comeback driven by supplying to Apple, whose orders have pushed the lens maker into profitability since last year.

Genius produces nearly all VGA lenses for iPhones and iPads and shares such orders with Largan for iPhone 4 5-megapixel lenses and iPad 2 high-resolution lenses. Apple orders enabled Genius and Largan to command a 28.5% global share last year to emerge as the biggest winners.

For the first half of this year, Largan scored combined revenue of NT$7.577 billion for a 57% growth from a year ago, with EPS of NT$17.09, while Genius reported a 500% increase in first-half combined revenue of NT$3.129 billion. With iPhone 5 and iPad 3 about to be ready for mass production, the two lens makers look set to expand market shares to keep posting more profits.

Volume of Optical Lenses Used in iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Year Quantity
2009 25 million units
2010 96 million units
2011 (estimated) 269 million units
2012 (estimated) 603 million units
Source: IBTS Investment Consulting Co., Ltd.


Industry In-Focus

ITRI Forms Industry-Gov Alliance for Universal EV Charging Platforms</h2>

ITRI Forms Industry-Gov Alliance for Universal EV Charging Platforms

Sep 29, 2020

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has allied with around 50 firms and government agencies to develop electric vehicle (EV) batteries technologies, seeking to roll out a standardized platform and allow EVs of different brands to use the same batteries. The alliance aims to cultivate the island's EV industry and offer customers a more diverse selection of charging options to choose...


Latest PCB Industry Report NTI-100 Shows Growing Asian Reach</h2>

Latest PCB Industry Report NTI-100 Shows Growing Asian Reach

Sep 23, 2020

Global PCB NTI-100 2019 Fabricators report from the research agency heavyweight N.T.Information showed companies with over USD$1 billion revenue have increased compared to 2018. The report, annually compiled by Dr. Hayao Nakahar, showed in 2019, 122 fabricators were listed reporting revenue over USD$1 billion, an increase of four companies compared to the 2018 list. The report also found more ...


Surgical Masks: the New Battleground for Textile Industry</h2>

Surgical Masks: the New Battleground for Textile Industry

Sep 22, 2020

With most of society worldwide becoming more and more accustomed to wearing masks in the post-pandemic era, it has become a must-have accessory, attracting domestic textile firms into production. Traditional textile firms, such as Eclat Textile, Makalot, Far Eastern New Century, Everest, Roo Hsing, and QVE, have begun making masks, reports say. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to fewer consumers ...



Industry Reports

Samsung's Potential Mini/Micro LED Partnership with Taiwanese Firms</h2>

Samsung's Potential Mini/Micro LED Partnership with Taiwanese Firms

Sep 28, 2020

The world's leading memory chip and smartphone maker Samsung Electronics is looking for potential display technology partnerships in Taiwan, specifically for mini/micro-LED industry applications. Local media Economic Daily News reported Samsung was partaking in a private project with LED driver IC supplier Macroblock Inc., a move signaling the Korean group's further ambition in the mini/micro-...


Strong Global Trade Rebound for Two-Consecutive Months: CPB</h2>

Strong Global Trade Rebound for Two-Consecutive Months: CPB

Sep 28, 2020

Since July, global trade volume continues to rebound, signaling economies' restarting in a bid to make up the worldwide lockdown this spring due to the pandemic. In a report released by the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the CPB World Trade Monitor in July grew 4.8% compared to June, the largest increase since the bureau began compiling statistics in 2000. This is slightl...


Digitalization Essential for Business Survival: APEC Finance Ministers</h2>

Digitalization Essential for Business Survival: APEC Finance Ministers

Sep 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of membership economies, which has become an essential factor in a company's survival, reported in a unified statement released by finance ministers of representing APEC member countries. Convened under the chairmanship of Malaysian Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, APEC finance ministers assembled over a virtual confe...



Supplier News

Sheh Fung owns three factories, one of which located in Mituo District, KaoHsiung primarily focuses on packaging and heading.

Sheh Fung Screws' Profitable Q3 Prompts Goal for NT$2 Billion Sales by Year-End

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Sheh Fung Screws Co., Ltd focuses on manufacturing three categories of screws: self-drilling screws, painted screws, and wood screws, often found in wood construction, sheet metal roofs, wood footpath, and DIY home decor applications. Currently, the U.S. is the firm's primary market, making up 64% of sales, 7% for Europe, 6% for Asia, and 12% for...

SHEH FUNG SCREWS CO., LTD.


Chipboard Screw, Special Wood Screw, provided by Shuenn Chang Fa

Quality Fastener Maker Shuenn Chang Fa Shows Resilience with Sales Boost

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Taiwanese quality fastener manufacturer Shuenn Chang Fa Enterprise Co., Ltd.'s (SCF) presented exceptional ability to adapt to challenging times amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike other firms, SCF leveraged its production strategy with its new plant, and even saw sales performing better than expected. SCF’s newest factory expands the original 10,000-square meters factory g...

SHUENN CHANG FA ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.


Stainless Steel Screws, provides by Ray Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Ray Fu's Reliable Fastener Quality for Clients Bolsters Q4 Sales

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Ray Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd. is a Taiwanese professional exporter for various fasteners and steel wires. Along with its parent company Chen Nan Iron Wire, both firms are located in Kaohsiung City of southern Taiwan. Ray Fu manages a wire rod storage, spheroidizing annealing furnace, pickling surface equipment, wiring drawing machinery, and fastener forming machine. While the C...

RAY FU ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.



Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...


Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...

PAUL MASTER AUTO PARTS CO.


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...



Exhibition Highlights

Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China</h2>

Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China

Sep 11, 2020

Driven by market prospects, domestic and international exhibitors actively prepare International Fastener Show China in Shanghai on November 3-5, 2020. Suffering from global epidemic and quarantine nearly half year, exhibitions are hot and popular in mainland China. Thousands of visitors join and visit the exhibitions with inquiries, and are eager to know new technology. Domestic and inter...


2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events</h2>

2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events

Sep 10, 2020

2020 Medical Taiwan is slated to kick off on Oct. 15 to Oct 17 at Nangang Exhibition Hall 2. Aside from events at the show, show organizer Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is also hosting the “Medical Taiwan Virtual” online edition at the same time due to travel restrictions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual edition will present 200 exhibitors and over 700 medic...


Automechanika Shanghai 2020 reveals online tools to navigate current trends and post-pandemic opportunities</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 reveals online tools to navigate current trends and post-pandemic opportunities

Sep 01, 2020

Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, reflected that: “As the industry starts to spring back from the effects of COVID-19, we believe that highly influential platforms like Automechanika Shanghai play a crucial role rejuvenating the market. It is our mission to help players unlock their potential. Therefore, we are continuing to realign our resources by utilising new d...