Here is another little fact. Found this while digging through news for Canon's stock (spurred on by one of the other threads here on CR). Seems Canon has ranked third in overall patents filed in the US last year. That means Canon filed a HELL OF A LOT OF PATENTS!!
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2011* and is one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in 2012.
I believe the idea that Canon is not an innovative company with the horsepower to compete is a load of troll crap. As I've been saying, there is nothing to prevent Canon from stepping up their game and ultimately giving Nikon a run for their money. And the notion that they couldn't drop a few billion on a new semiconductor fab if they wanted to...another load of troll feces...they have a $45 billion dollar global revenue. A billion dollars is barely more than pocket change.
Additionally, another strong mark for Canon that Nikon just doesn't hold a stick to is their customer support, which apparently has been award winning for nine years:
In 2012, for the ninth consecutive year, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers' Choice Award for Service and Reliability.
Canon is a huge company . Canon has double sales compared to a large companies like IKEA
Canon is a small company regarding cmos sensors and compared to Omnivision and others
The camera division is a small part of Canon , the sensor division a lot smaller than the competisions
Canon is not even on the list with their own name
Ok. No idea where that pie chart came from, so I can't verify its accuracy.
Here are some more facts. Canon's business is primarily based on sensors of one kind of another and optics of one kind or another.
Here is a report on their business units that covers three years. Within this report, Canon indicates they have three major business units: Office, Consumer, Industry/Other. All three of these business units produce products that use CMOS sensors and chips. From a revenue perspective, the Office unit, 53.6% of Canon's overall revenues, rakes in $24.5 billion. The Consumer unit, 37.5% of Canon's overall revenues, which covers all the photography, video, and printing stuff we are interested in (except imagePrograf printers...which are part of the Office unit) brings in $17.1 billion. The final and smallest unit, their Industrial products and everything else, 11.7% of Canon's overall revenues, brings in $5.3 billion. Canon's Industrial products division is capable of building the kind of equipment required for a semiconductor fab, such as Semiconductor Lithography units.
Factual reference: http://web.canon.jp/ir/annual/2010/rep2010f.pdf
According to another report about Japan's local business (I assume this is just the local business, not worldwide like the above report, as Canon's worldwide revenue in yen is in the several trillions):
A full 27%, almost 1/3rd, of their business is consumer imaging. That 27% brings in around ¥164 billion in revenues. Another 49% of their business is business solutions. This largest segment brings in around ¥297 billion in revenues. Another 5% is industrial equipment, which involves a lot of sensor tech and optics, brings in around ¥30 billion in revenues. The final sector of Canon is their IT software, which is about 19% of their business. Not really sure what this division covers. This sector brings in ¥115 billion in revenues. There is also another ¥26.3 billion Canon simply chocks up to "Other". That is a total of ¥632 billion yen each year. In US dollar terms based on the current exchange rate, those numbers are:
Consumer Imaging Division: $2.1 billion
Business Division: $3.8 billion
Industrial Tech Division: $385 million
IT Solutions Division: $1.5 billion
Other: $338 million
Factual Reference: http://cweb.canon.jp/eng/corporate/activities/product.html
Even in US dollar terms, Canon's division related to consumer imaging, photography, video, etc. is almost a third of their business, and their second largest division from a dollar amount. Just about every device they ship from their consumer imaging division (including lenses) has at least one cmos chip in it. Every single actual imaging device, be it a DSLR, EOS-M, P&D, bridge camera, video camera, whatever...contains an image sensor and other CMOS devices to process pixels. They don't necessarily make ALL of those chips (many of their cheaper P&S cameras use CCD's manufactured by none other than Sony), but they make a significant percentage of them. And thats just the imaging division. The Industrial Tech division is also a heavily dependent on CMOS sensors and image processing chips. Hell, office products like printers and copiers require sensors. Canon most definitely has a significant need for a large CMOS production facility.