Pickup in lens orders points to more tablets with cameras

Cameras are expected to become more common on tablet PCs this year

A Taiwanese producer of plastic lenses said on Wednesday its March revenues shot up because of a surge in orders from tablet PC makers, indicating that cameras will be installed on devices due for release later in the year.

A lot of first-generation tablets didn't feature cameras, but that's likely to change later this year after market-leader Apple added cameras to its iPad 2.

Taiwanese companies make many of the portable and tablet PCs sold by famous brands and rely on local suppliers for many of the components. The performance of these local parts makers often serves as a indicator to the future direction of the PC industry.

Largan Precision Co., Taiwan's largest handset camera lens maker, said that despite normally weak first-quarter income, revenues rose 52 percent last month compared to March 2010 as orders for tablet cameras mounted. The company took in NT$1.31 billion (US$44 million) in March.

Largan's March revenues rose 33 percent over February, suggesting an uptick in tablet camera interest began last month.

The orders are for lenses to go with cameras with resolution of up to 5 megapixels, said Largan spokesman Charles Chiu. He declined to say how many lens orders Largan took last month or who placed them.

"There's definitely a trend," said Wai Ho Leong, senior regional economist with Barclays Capital in Singapore. "Apple has seen fit to equip its iPad 2 with a camera, so the others will follow."

Samsung is expected this year to ship its Honeycomb-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an 8-megapixel resolution back camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. The Motorola Xoom released in the U.S. this year has a 5-megapixel rear camera.

Users will welcome the front-mounted cameras for video conferences but find tablets too clunky for taking photos, said Ian Peng, analyst with DigiTimes Research in Taipei. "It would be strange to take photos with such a big thing," Peng said.

Largan, founded in 1987, counts tablet makers Apple, HTC and Motorola as customers. The company normally makes camera lenses for notebooks and smartphones.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags peripheralsMotorolaAppleSamsung Electronicswebcamshardware systemstablet PCslaptopsLargan Precision Co

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?