[THE INVESTOR] LG Innotek, the parts unit of LG Group, will supply facial recognition camera modules for the upcoming iPhone, tentatively called the iPhone 8, Korea Economic Daily reported on May 11.
The report said the company’s new facility investment worth 269.7 billion won (US$238.50 million) that was announced on April 27 will be dedicated to Apple’s orders. The initial deal size is estimated at about 200 billion won.
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Apple and LG Innotek, the market leader in the smartphone camera module market, teamed up last year to develop the world’s first 3-D facial recognition camera system that can be used for a variety of applications from biometric authentication to games.
LG Innotek supplies rear-facing dual-lens camera module for the iPhone 7 and LG G6. The upcoming facial recognition module will be front-facing and smaller than the current one. That’s why the company plans to build a new plant for the production.
Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S8 also features facial recognition function but it uses 2-D technology. The 3-D facial recognition is expected to achieve better accuracy.
The Apple deal is expected to boost LG Innotek’s long-term earnings. Dual-lens camera modules are priced almost four times more than conventional smartphone camera modules.
Analysts predict the company’s camera module sales could surge to 1.5 trillion won in the fourth quarter this year, a jump from 400 billion won in the first quarter.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)