After continuous development of the optical lens industry, a complete industrial chain has been formed. The optical lens is at the core of the optical component industry chain. The industrial chain includes upstream optical lens raw materials (optical glass, optical plastics). The midstream optical components are mainly the manufacture of optical components such as spherical lenses, aspheric mirrors and filters, and glass lenses, Manufacturing of plastic lenses, glass-plastic hybrid lenses, etc., and downstream is the application field of optical lenses, including smartphones, tablets, sports cameras, smart driving, smart home, security monitoring, etc. and VR / AR and other fields.

The production of optical lenses mainly uses raw materials such as nitrate, plastic mechanical parts, metal mechanical parts, mechanical and electrical parts. The influence of raw materials provided by the upstream industry on optical lens products is mainly reflected in price factors and quality factors. For example, the price of electronic components and other materials will increase, and the factory price of electro-optical lenses will increase; if the quality of optical raw materials cannot meet the industrial standards of the industry, it will lead to the difficulty of ensuring the quality of optical lenses or the shipment of lenses reduce.
Optical lens is one of the optical components with higher value. The camera module is composed of several lenses, VCM voice coil motor, spacer ring, image sensor, FPC, etc. Among them, the image sensor, lens, and voice coil motor are high barriers. In terms of value chain composition, image sensors account for approximately 52% of camera modules, followed by modules (20%) and optical lenses (19%).

Introduction to the optical lens industry chain The upstream core components of optical modules mainly include optical lenses, CIS chips, filters, motors, etc.

The largest optical lens company in China, Sunny Optical Technology, achieved revenues of approximately 5 billion in the optical components business in 2018 (accounting for 20% of total revenue), and other mainstream optical lens companies have revenues between 1 billion and 3 billion. The gross profit margin of upstream component companies in the optical field is generally higher at 20% -40%, and the net profit margin is at the level of 10% -20%.

Midstream camera module. The largest optical lens module company in China, Oufeiguang, had a camera module revenue of 24.4 billion in 2018, and Sunny Optical Technology’s module business revenue in 2018 was about 20 billion (accounting for 80% of total revenue). The gross profit margin of the optical module business is generally 10% -15%, and the net profit margin is between 5% -10%.

The technical barriers of optical lenses are very high, mainly reflected in three aspects: patents, production processes, molds. Very few companies have mass-produced high-quality lenses.

China’s optical lens started late, and the domestic market has been monopolized by foreign companies until 2008. At that time, the level of design and manufacturing in developed countries was much higher than domestic standards, and the most outstanding ones were Germany and Japan. Excellent traditions and rich experience have created epoch-making optical giants such as Leica and Carl Zeiss in Germany; after World War II, Japan gave birth to Canon, Canon and Fuji with high cost performance And well-known enterprises such as Olympus.

After 2000, the domestic optical industry started to catch up with national support. At present, the global optical lens industry is shifting to China, which has initially broken the original monopoly, and a number of excellent domestic lens companies have begun to shine.

From the perspective of the market structure, the industry is highly concentrated and there is a trend of further improvement. The way of survival of the lens must either have enough technology accumulation, such as Daliguang, Yujingguang, Sunny Optical, and Kanto Chenmei; or focus on niche market for differentiated competition, such as United Optoelectronics and Lianchuang Electronics. Daliguang is the absolute overlord of the mobile phone lens industry. Sunny Optical is gradually catching up as the domestic lens leader. In addition, AAC Technology has a comparative advantage in the field of hybrid lenses and WLO, United Optoelectronics in security lenses, and Lianchuang Electronics in the field of sports camera lenses. Strong differentiated layout capabilities, and will gradually enter the field of consumer electronics lenses. In the field of automotive lenses, Sunny Optical is far ahead, with the largest market share in the world.

From the perspective of the global market structure, the market share of mainland manufacturers is less than 20%, and the proportion is still low. Companies in the mainland region have more room for growth in the future. Taking smart phone lenses as an example, the top five market shares in the industry exceed 60%. Daliguang is the largest supplier of optical lenses for mobile phones, followed by Sunny Optical in the mainland.

The leading Chinese mainland continues to extend upstream, and the entire industry chain is deployed, the industry trend is strengthened, and the leading competitiveness is enhanced! Leading companies have further deepened the layout of the optical industry chain, continue to extend their development upstream of the industry chain, create vertical industry integration in the optical field, and strengthen product competitiveness. Optical lens companies represented by Sunny Optical, Ophelia Optical, and Lianchuang Electronics have continued to break through patent barriers and achieved continuous breakthroughs in high-pixel mobile phone lenses and automotive lenses.
Mobile phone camera upgrades are carried out along two main lines: continuous pixel upgrades, from the earliest 110,000 pixels to tens of millions of pixels (such as iphone 11); continuous technological innovation, along multiple cameras, high pixels, large aperture, telephoto 3. The evolution of miniaturized modules. In addition, technologies such as fingerprint recognition, 3D sensing, periscope / slide rail structures are also constantly developing.

According to the latest report from Counterpoint, the penetration rate of three-camera mobile phones will reach 50% in 2021, which means that half of the mobile phones in the market will be equipped with rear three-cameras. Data shows that Samsung’s three-camera and above mobile phones have the highest penetration rate, reaching 27%; Huawei ranked second with 23%. From the overall data point of view, the current penetration rate of three-shot mobile phones in the market is 15%, which will reach 35% by the end of 2020 and exceed 50% by 2021.

In 2018, Huawei released the P20 Pro Leica three-camera smartphone (40M main camera + 20M black and white + 8M telephoto), which has a super night scene function and can achieve 3x optical zoom, making the three cameras become a new benchmark for smartphones. Pro four-camera smartphone (40M movie lens (super wide-angle lens) + 40M super sensitive lens + 8M telephoto + TOF), can achieve super low-light shooting and ultra-high-speed photography, performance comparable to professional cameras. In addition, Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, Motorola and other mobile phone brand manufacturers also launched four-cam phones.

3Dsensing is one of the trends in smartphone innovation, and it is currently accelerating its penetration into low-end and mid-range phones. At present, there are three technologies to realize 3Dsensing, namely binocular stereo imaging, structured light and ToF. The currently mature solutions are structured light and TOF. Among them, the structured light solution is the most mature and has been applied to industrial 3D vision on a large scale. TOF has become a more optimistic solution on the mobile side with its own advantages.

With its huge downstream market demand, China has become one of the most important markets for optical lenses in the world, and the substitution process of lens localization is accelerating. With the increasing consumer demand for high-quality photographs and videos, the evolution of camera modules is the only way for the development of smart phones. With the increase in the penetration rate of dual-camera and triple-camera, the market will start a new imaging revolution.