Sunny Optical from China supplied its optical parts to Samsung Electronics for its Galaxy S9. This is the first time when Chinese optical parts are used for Samsung Electronics’ flagship models. Optical parts have the highest technical barrier out of all Smartphone parts. Fact that Chinese optical parts are used for flagship models for the first time shows that competitive edge of Chinese Smartphone parts is growing very quickly. South Korean industries are worried that their opportunities will become narrower in the future as competitive price of Chinese businesses becomes stronger
According to industries, it is understood that Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S9, which was released recently, contains Sunny Optical’s lenses. Sunny Optical is the biggest Chinese optical part manufacturer that manufactures lenses, camera modules, microscopes, and measuring equipment.
“Galaxy S9 uses Sunny Optical’s lenses for its front camera module.” said representatives for multiple industries. “Although Sunny’s products have been used for low and medium-priced Smartphones, this is the first time they are used for flagship models.”
Samsung Electronics had been using lenses from South Korean businesses such as Kolen, Sekonix, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics for its flagship Smartphones. Fact that Sunny Optical is also a supplier for Samsung Electronics’ flagship models means that Sunny Optical’s competitive edge in its technologies and quality was recognized by Samsung Electronics.

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<Sunny Optical’s dual-camera (Reference: Sunny Optical’s homepage)>

Flagship products indicate beset products. Because they are the products that represent a company, manufacturers gather all their capabilities to manufacture high-performance and high-quality products. Smartphone parts also go through complicated inspections to build finished products with high level of completion.
Although Sunny Optical is a company that is unfamiliar to normal people, it is emerging as a global company as it has secured major Chinese Smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, OPPO, and VIVO as its customer. According to iResearch and Hana Financial Investment, Sunny Optical’s market share in global market was 8% in 2015 followed by LG Innotek, Sharp, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics. Its technical skills have improved a lot as it is able to manufacture latest dual-camera modules.
Growth of Chinese Smartphone part manufacturers leads to more intensified competitions with South Korean businesses and it is burdensome for South Korean businesses that are behind of Chinese businesses in competitive price. Actually, it is not easy to secure profitability as there is huge pressure on unit cost of camera lenses of Smartphones. Kolen is also having tough time due to such pressure.
Chinese Smartphone part manufacturers are supplying various parts to major Smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics and Apple based on their competitive edge that they have accumulated in Chinese market. It is heard that O-film, which manufacturers touchscreen, camera module, and fingerprint recognition module, recently signed a contract with Apple.
Staff Reporter Yun, Keonil |