Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup is expected to include three different models, all of them featuring the Face ID facial recognition, and the company is reportedly looking into ways to expand the list of suppliers to prevent shortages of key modules.
LG Innotek will continue to be the main supplier of Face ID parts, but a report from The Investor reveals that Apple also wants to add two more suppliers that would help build similar components for the new iPhone models.
This means that 2018 iPhones could be equipped with Face ID components built by Chinese firms, though it’s not yet clear how many units are projected to use these parts. On the other hand, depending on the yield rate, LG Innotek’s supply volume could be reduced in the future, the report says.
What Apple tries to do right now is avoid supply constraints that could impact the upcoming generation of iPhones, as the company wants to make sure that there will be enough Face ID modules ready for all three models to launch this year.
Face ID struggles
The complex nature of the facial recognition system has been considered one of the main reasons Apple delayed the launch of the iPhone X, with some sources claiming the initial yield rate was extremely low especially due to the company’s high specifications.
On the other hand, there were reports that Apple lowered the requirements in an attempt to allow suppliers build more Face ID modules faster, but such claims were quickly denied by the company. Lowering Face ID specifications would have meant that Apple agreed to reduce accuracy.
The new iPhone lineup is expected to launch in the fall of this year with three different models, including a 5.8-inch successor to the iPhone X and a 6.4 or 6.5-inch Plus-sized model. A third version with an LCD screen and likely to be more affordable than the rest of the models is also expected.