Apple is planning a significant investment in LG Innotek to secure supply of 3D sensing modules for next-generation iPhone and iPad models expected to launch this year, according to Korean website The Investor.
The upfront payment could be worth as much as around $820.9 million, which LG Innotek would use to build additional facilities for production of 3D sensing and camera modules for smartphones, the report claims.
The 3D sensing modules assembled by LG Innotek, including the flood illuminator and dot projector, are key components of the iPhone X’s new TrueDepth camera system, enabling features such as Face ID and Animoji.
The investment would make sense given Apple plans to launch a refreshed iPhone X, a larger iPhone X Plus, and a mid-range iPhone each with Face ID later this year, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple will also release at least one iPad Pro model with Face ID this year, according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg News.
The investment could help Apple avoid the temporary supply chain issues it experienced with 3D sensing modules late last year, ensuring availability of the iPhone X, iPhone X Plus, and new iPad Pro is more plentiful.
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