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iOS

Apple plans large LG Innotek investment to ensure stable next-gen Face ID production

By Adrian Diaconescu January 10, 2018, 2:00 pm

If Apple had trouble ramping up production of TrueDepth camera systems for just one Face ID-capable iPhone version in 2017, can you imagine how difficult it must be to prepare a grand total of three 2018 models supporting facial recognition, as well as a new Touch ID-ditching iPad Pro generation?

But if there’s something the Cupertino-based tech giant is really good at… typically, that’s lining up various parts suppliers and helping them modernize their manufacturing facilities to ensure adequate next-gen iPhone supply.

LG is shaping up as a crucial partner for the development of numerous iPhone X sequels, both this year and further down the line, with several of the chaebol’s divisions and subsidiaries reportedly in charge of key components like flexible PCBs, space-saving batteries, OLED screens and 3D sensing modules.

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LG Innotek was rumored to be handling at least part of the 3D facial recognition mechanism production for the first-gen iPhone X, which may not sound very reassuring. But Apple has apparently decided to help the LG Group affiliate out with a massive investment of around $820 million.

That should help build additional factories for the making of next-generation mobile camera modules enabling the fast, secure and reliable use of the TrueDepth technology. The deal may have been negotiated by Tim Cook himself, following a similar funding of Finisar’s “high-volume production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs)” powering Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies.

Clearly, Apple is leaving nothing to chance this time around, unwilling to risk a repeat of the embarrassing yield rate situation from just a few months ago.

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