Taiwanese OEMs focus on lens costs|
(Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 18:56 EDT)
An interesting news article from Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reports on efforts by digital camera makers in that country to cut costs and increase volume.
According to the article - coauthored by DigiTimes' Jimmy Hsu and Adam Hwang - Taiwan's top four digicam manufacturers have identified lens units as an area for cost saving. The four companies (Ability Enterprise, Altek, Asia Optical and Premier Image Technology) have hence focused on increasing their self-supply of lens units for their digicams.
Premier is apparently expecting to increase its lens production by 60% this year, which would have the company manufacturing 60% of the lenses required for its digital camera output by year's end. Altek's joint venture company ABT Technology will open a new optics factory in the second quarter of next year. Last March, Ability Enterprise purchased the 40% of PENTAX BASO Optomechatronics Co. that had been held by Taiwan's BASO Precision Optics Ltd. - giving Ability access to a much needed lens supply.
DigiTimes states that together, the four companies mentioned in this article have managed to get the average cost of five and six megapixel digital cameras down from US$80 in the first quarter of 2006, to just US$70 this quarter - a drop of 12.5%.
The article also notes that Taiwan's Tekom Technologies will soon offer a five megapixel digicam model in China that will include an electronic map function, said to be a first for a digital camera. This will be followed later this year by a six megapixel model with mapping capability, and two further models next year. A joint venture company between Tekom and an unidentified provider of Chinese map databases will expect to sell 300,000 units this year, and 1.5 million next year...
More details can be found in the DigiTimes article.