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Sony: COVID-19 having "a wide-ranging impact on the manufacturing of goods"

Sony: COVID-19 having "a wide-ranging impact on the manufacturing of goods"
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has issued a statement on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the effect that it is having on its various business divisions – including electronics, where "the flow of resources from suppliers in Asia has become unstable, having a wide-ranging impact on the manufacturing of goods in this segment."

This obviously affects everything from Sony's cameras and lenses to televisions, headphones and PlayStation videogames consoles. Indeed, it had previously been reported that widespread shortages of DRAM meant that Sony had to sacrifice new camera features in order to prepare for the release of the PlayStation 5. 

Contrary to earlier reports, however, it seems that Sony's image sensor business – which accounts for around half the sensors in the world's imaging devices, from cameras to smartphones – has not been as adversely affected as anticipated. 

• Read more: Best Sony cameras (opens in new tab)

"At this time, there has been no material impact on the production of CMOS image sensors, including any impact on the procurement of materials," stated the manufacturer. 

"However, Sony's primary customers in this segment are smartphone makers who rely on supply chains in China, and although recovery in these supply chains has led to sales gradually returning to normal levels, there is a risk that going forward sales could be impacted by a slowdown in the smartphone market."

Of note, Sony's four manufacturing plants situated in China (two in Shanghai, one in Wuxi, Jiangsu, and one in Huizhou, Guangdong) were shut down from 24 January to 09 February, they have since reopened to varying degrees. "From February 10, all four plants have re-started operations in increments. Supply chain issues remain, but operations are returning to the level they were before the spread of the virus."

The company's two factories in in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang) are shut down from 18 March to at least 14 April, and its plant in the United Kingdom (Wales) is also on shutdown from 26 March until at least 20 April.

Sony's full statement – which includes details on its motion picture and music divisions – can be read on the Sony Global website (opens in new tab).

Read more: 

Sony abandons new camera features to focus on PlayStation 5 (opens in new tab)
Apparently Sony owns almost 50% of the worldwide image sensor market (opens in new tab)
Best Sony lenses (opens in new tab) in 2020: top lenses for Sony mirrorless and Alpha cameras

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.