Sony says Kumamoto plant not main site for smartphone components

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[April 18, 2016]  TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Monday that its image sensor plant in Kumamoto, which has been shut since earthquakes hit southern Japan last week, makes components mainly for digital cameras.

Sony's plant in Nagasaki, which resumed full operations on Sunday, is the company's major production facility for image sensors for smartphones, it said.

The company said it had yet to decide when to restart the Kumamoto plant.

There had been concerns that plant shut downs because of the earthquakes could affect production of Apple Inc's iPhones, including the iPhone 7.

"The impact of the Kumamoto plant suspension on Apple is expected to be limited," Hiroyuki Shimizu, principal research analyst at Gartner, said.

Sony has 45 percent of the market for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor image sensors, a type of integrated circuit that converts light into electrical signals, according to research firm Gartner.

Sony shares fell 6.8 percent on Monday.

The earthquakes, which killed at least 42 people, led to shut downs at a number of other manufacturing companies.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Susan Fenton and Jane Merriman)

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