Apple calls on three suppliers for iPhone 12/Pro 5G camera modules

Apple calls on three suppliers for iPhone 12/Pro 5G camera modules
Apple iPhone 12 Pro concept

Apple seldom relies upon one supplier for a certain component and instead diversifies the supply chain whenever possible. The company has doubled down on that strategy this year by incorporating multiple suppliers for the iPhone 12 camera module.

Three suppliers for the iPhone 12 camera

Sources from the handset supply chain in Taiwan (via DigiTimes andMacRumors) claim Apple is planning to share camera module orders for the upcoming iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro between three companies.

LG, a multinational company also known for supplying OLED iPhone panels via subsidiary LG Display, has reportedly secured iPhone camera module orders for another year through subsidiary LG Innotek.

The South Korean manufacturer will be in charge of supplying camera modules for the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. These smartphones are expected to offer an updated triple-camera system paired with a new LiDAR Scanner.

Combined camera module shipments for the two devices should reach between 35 million and 40 million units by the end of 2020. That indicates Apple is expecting strong demand for the forthcoming 5G devices.

Sharp and O-film Tech are the other two companies preparing to ship camera modules for the iPhone 12 series. These suppliers will focus on the cheaper 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max.

Apple has reportedly ordered 50 to 55 million units to be shipped by the end of December. Sharp will account for somewhere between 30 and 38.5 million units (60-70%) while O-film Tech will cover the remaining orders.

These smartphones are said to feature upgraded dual-camera systems on the back and no LiDAR Scanner to keep costs down.

A revised TrueDepth camera that enables a smaller notch

Moving away from the rear and over to the front, recent rumors suggest Apple is planning an updated TrueDepth camera system that improves performance and reduces the overall footprint.

Those changes are going to allow the implementation of a much smaller notch. Don't expect anything as compact as recent waterdrop offerings, but a noticeable size difference when compared directly to the existing notch is on the cards.

Slimmer bezels are set to accompany the revised front panel design too. The standard iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max are ditching LCD for OLED and are expected to offer iPhone 11 Pro-like bezels.

The iPhone 12 Pro duo, on the other hand, will adopt thinner alternatives that bring both phones in line with recent Android flagships. Speaking of which, 120Hz ProMotion tech is also in the works, although it could be killed off in software before launch.

iPhone 12 & 12 Pro delays are almost set in stone

The sources in question believe production on the new camera modules will commence in July. That falls in line with recent rumors about a delay due to production issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mass production for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro is on track to start in September rather than August ahead of an official unveiling in October rather than September. Depending on COVID-19 regulations, this event could follow an online or physical format.

Apple is planning a ‘One More Thing’ announcement in the form of the Apple Glass AR headset too. Unfortunately, it might be delayed until the first quarter of 2021.

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