Apple is adding two Chinese suppliers this year for a stable supply of 3-D sensing modules for its Face ID, a sophisticated 3-D facial recognition system and the signature feature of the iPhone X, according to industry sources on Feb. 8.
Apple plans to equip three new iPhones with Face ID this year. It seems to be diversifying suppliers for a stable supply of the key parts after supply constraints delayed the iPhone X’s launch last year.
Sources said LG Innotek will remain as the main vendor, while the secondary Chinese suppliers will produce the remainder. Sharp that supplied parts for the iPhone X reportedly failed to renew the deal.
It is rare for Apple to have Chinese suppliers for key parts. Sources say their yield rate could affect LG Innotek’s supply volume in the future. Apple sells more than 200 million iPhones every year.
The LG Group affiliate has seen its earnings soar in recent quarters, as it has inked lucrative supply deals with Apple. On Jan. 8, the firm announced it would invest 873.7 billion won (US$820.9 million) to build additional production facilities for camera and next-generation modules. Even though the company didn’t specify details of the plans, industry watchers say the new spending will mostly go to Apple orders, especially the Face ID.
By Yoon Kun-il (email@example.com) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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