The supply chain shortage affects industries in every corner of the world. It has also now extended towards Apple. A recent report from a Korean trade paper has shown that Apple is having a hard time in securing a supplier for the iPhone 14’s front-facing camera, leading it to opt for a more expensive solution than it’s used on past phones.
The Korean IT News states that Apple has opted for LG Innotek’s components for its front-facing selfie camera rather than an unnamed Chinese company and Japan’s Sharp, its regular partners.
The article states that LG Innotek is currently preparing for “mass production of the iPhone 14 front camera.” LG Innotek also gets bragging rights for being the first South Korean manufacturer to supply this particular component to Apple.
Apple originally planned to partner with LG Innotek for the next generation iPhone 15. But with the close deadline for the launch of the iPhone 14, the company has shifted gears to move “the schedule forward hurriedly.”
Korea IT News added that “it is understood that there had been quality problems from Chinese camera manufacturers during the quality tests,” which has led to delays. The same crisis is being faced by the Chinese display manufacturer Beijing Oriental Electronics (BOE), which may lose its contract for the iPhone 14 after changing the design of the iPhone 13’s display to enhance the yield rate.
The change in suppliers will affect component prices, too. The addition of features like autofocus has increased the cost of the camera about three times when compared to previous models.
Japan’s Sharp is will still manufacture the iPhone 14’s front-facing camera. But it will be with the hardware and capabilities of LG Innotek. Also, LG Innotek makes the optical parts of the camera in-house rather than relying on third-party suppliers.