updated 01:50 pm EST, Mon November 7, 2011
OmniVision hints phone or tablet customer loss
OmniVision raised questions about future smartphones and tablets after it dropped its guidance for its just-finished quarter. It now expected to make $212 million to $217 million in revenue instead of the $255 million to $275 million it predicted in August. An "unexpected cutback" in orders for camera sensors for "certain key projects" was sparking the shortfall, the company said.
Sales would primarily be rocky in home-oriented products, hinting that the source of the problem wasn't in the business world.
OmniVision's customers have usually been kept private, but the drop may come from Apple. Until the iPhone 4S switch to Sony for camera sensors, it was one of if not the most important customers of OmniVision's technology. Today, it still uses OmniVision for virtually every other mobile device, including iPads, iPod touch players, and older iPhones.
The company was still hopeful for its OV8830, its eight-megapixel sensor. The design just started shipping in "very limited quantities" and was being shopped around to customers. Some had seen the sensor as a prime candidate for what became the iPhone 4S, although a very small supply may support rumors that Sony had to fill in.
OmniVision planned to buy back $100 million of stock to keep control of its share price. Full results are due on November 29.