Prior to this, Apple has been ordering the front-facing cameras of its iPhones from a Chinese manufacturer. But today, etnews reported that for the first time in history, the Cupertino-based company will switch to a South Korean manufacturer. The reason behind the change is Apple’s camera supply chain management (SCM) change. The front camera of the iPhone has been classified as low-end but it is now high-end.
It turns out Apple has decided to install LG Innotek’s products on the iPhone 14 front camera. The new CMOS will be announced in September. The American company has already managed to notify its major partners about the upcoming change. In its turn, LG Innotek has begun getting ready for mass production of the iPhone 14 front camera.
Interestingly, the LG Innotek CMOS should pioneer the iPhone 15. The latter is set to hit the market next year. But Apple has moved the schedule forward. We guess there have been some quality concerns regarding the Chinese manufacturer’s camera.
In the past, some Chinese manufacturers and Japan’s Sharp were the basic suppliers for the iPhone’s front camera. The price of the front-mounted camera of the iPhone is one-third of the unit price of the rear-facing camera. That’s why it’s been classified as a low-cost part. Moreover, this was the main reason why the South Korean semiconductor makers have been trying to get rear-facing camera orders from Apple.
However, everything has changed. The iPhone 14’s front camera will have more functions, such as autofocus. In effect, the unit price of the front-facing camera of the iPhone 14 has risen nearly three times compared to previous models. Now, the iPhone 14 will get its front-facing cameras from y two companies: LG Innotek and Sharp in Japan. It’s reported each of them will get 50% of the orders. But taking into consideration the fact that LG Innotek also supplies rear-facing cameras, the South Korean company will benefit a lot.
Apart from the modules, LG Innotek will also supply other important components such as Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) parts, camera PCBs, and actuators. Prior to this, LG Innotek has been getting these parts from its partners.