An abundance of leaks already spoiled most of the flashier design changes that Apple plans to bring to the iPhone 14. But according to a new report, the company is making another big move that may not be as readily apparent. Korea IT News reports that Apple will use LG Innotek as the supplier for the iPhone 14’s front-facing selfie camera. This is the first time Apple has worked with a South Korean supplier for the component.
New supplier making iPhone 14 selfie camera
The report claims that Apple cut a Chinese company that was set to supply the components in favor of the South Korean company. Front-facing cameras were once classified as low-end components, but Apple is reportedly switching its camera supply chain management (SCM) as the quality of front-facing cameras continues to improve.
Industry sources tell Korea IT News (via 9to5Mac) that Apple has already notified its biggest partners about the move. LG Innotek is now ramping up for mass production.
Apple apparently ran into quality issues with Chinese camera manufacturers. Initially, Apple planned to start working with LG Innotek on the iPhone 15 selfie camera in 2023. The quality issues seemingly pushed this schedule forward by a year.
Additionally, the report reveals that the price of parts has increased as selfie cameras have advanced. Sources say that the iPhone 14’s selfie camera costs three times as much as the front-facing camera on previous models. The report does not divulge anything about the price of the iPhone 14, or if consumers should expect higher prices as a result.
Unsurprisingly, LG Innotek will benefit greatly from Apple’s increased business:
Following the rear-facing camera, they have now emerged as a key supplier for front cameras. They are expected to make trillions in sales just from iPhone 14 front camera orders alone. In addition to modules, LG Innotek has internalized some key optical parts such as Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) parts, camera PCBs, and actuators. Until now, LG Innotek’s partners have supplied the optical parts, which were then assembled into modules by LG, before being supplied to Apple.
What we know about the iPhone 14
Last year, Apple hosted its annual fall event to announce the new iPhone on September 14th. Provided this year’s iPhone reveal event takes place around the same time, we are less than four months away from the reveal of the iPhone 14.
Beyond a new selfie camera supplier, Apple is also giving the design a long-awaited refresh. For months, rumors have been pointing to the death of the notch on at least the iPhone 14 Pro models. Apple will reportedly replace the notch with a pill-shaped cutout and a hole for the selfie camera. Speaking of cameras, rumors also suggest that the rear cameras will be flush against the back panel. No one would miss the camera bump.
We’ll know for sure after Apple’s next big iPhone event this September.
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