Apple’s supplier Lumentum (LITE), VCSEL laser supplier, has received a major $200 million order from Apple. The company is among the very few suppliers that would be supplying Apple with VCSEL laser diodes, which is used to add advanced 3D sensing capabilities to a smartphone.
Apple is expected to debut the iPhone 8 with new AR features including 3D depth sensing which would be made possible with Lumentum’s VCSEL laser diodes.
As per Loop Ventures Gene Munster, the jump in Lumentum’s revenue from $5 million in Q4 to $200 million for the rest of the year bodes well for the iPhone 8 and the AR industry in general. Munster now believes Apple will ship 55 million iPhone 8 units in 2017 with 3D sensing technology, with the total figure reaching 160 million in 2018.
Given the uptick in Management’s demand forecast, we believe advanced 3D sensing capabilities will be integrated in more iPhones that what most were previously expecting
We believe Apple has secured a high percentage of all VCSEL lasers created, which we view as a large competitive advantage and will make Apple a leading AR player in the smartphone space.
The report states that Apple will be using VCSEL sensor both at the front and rear of the iPhone 8. While the rear sensor will feature a high-end laser, the one on the front will be a low-end one.
Like Kuo, Munster now also believes that Apple is on track to launch three new iPhones in September. The Cupertino company will be shipping 133 million iPhone units in H2 of CY17, with 55 million of them being the iPhone 8.
The use of VCSEL sensors will lead to the iPhone 8 production cost increasing by an additional $20. However, since Apple is expected to price the iPhone 8 at almost $1000, the company’s bottom line is only going to improve when it starts selling this new premium iPhone model.
[Via Loop Ventures]