Two new reports originating out of Korea point to Apple adding two new suppliers to its supply chain to supply it with 3D sensing modules. The Cupertino company is looking to bring Face ID to its entire iPhone lineup due for release in September 2018, and thus, requires additional suppliers to fulfill its demand.
By adding more suppliers, Apple is looking to diversify its lineup to ensure there is no bottleneck in the supply of a key component for its products. While LG Innotek will continue to be the primary supplier of 3D sensing modules for Face ID to Apple, it will be joined by two unnamed Chinese suppliers. Sharp, which supplied Apple with 3D sensing modules for the iPhone X in 2017, will not be a part of the supply chain and has reportedly failed to renew its deal.
Of the two Chinese companies selected by Apple, one is an emerging name in the smartphone component market, while the other is a popular semiconductor packaging company. Apple rarely has Chinese suppliers for its key components but given the lack of options in the market, it did not have much of a choice here.
Apple is rumored to launch three new iPhones this year featuring a notch-display design. While two of the handsets will feature an OLED display, the other one will make use of an LCD display and carry a lower price tag of around $750. With Apple introducing Face ID on its entire iPhone lineup in 2018, it remains to be seen if the company ditches Touch ID completely this year or ensures it coexists with Face ID.
Apple’s suppliers struggled with the production of key Face ID components before the release of the iPhone X last year. This led to the handset being in short supply at launch, though the yield issues were solved soon after which led to a dramatic increase in the phone’s availability before the holiday season. Apple does not want to repeat the same mistake this year which is why it is diversifying its supply chain.
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