One of Apple’s go-to camera suppliers, LG Innotek, has reportedly purchased an all-new, $238.5 million manufacturing facility in South Korea, whereat the firm will exclusively manufacture the next-generation 3D facial recognition cameras destined for Apple’s iPhone 8, according to a report published this morning by The Investor — which also cited that Cupertino has already placed its first orders for the new modules, totaling $177 million.
Currently, LG Innotek is the sole supplier of dual-lens camera modules utilized in Apple’s wildly-popular iPhone 7 Plus handset. And while the South Korea-based camera-maker already operates out of a separate facility in the country, the report alleges that another, more advanced facility was required due to the nature of Apple’s sophisticated new camera tech — embodying modules that will be both smaller in size, while being integrated into the front panel of the upcoming iPhone 8.
iPhone 8 3D Facial Recognition
Rumors surrounding Apple’s adoption of advanced 3D facial recognition on the iPhone 8 first surfaced earlier this year, courtesy of the well-connected KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who at the time indicated the technology would be a revolutionary upgrade, capable of capturing images in 2D boasting unmatched “depth of information,” in addition to 3D selfies that will facilitate the handset’s advanced imaging prowess.
In order to capture 3D images with depth, these new modules being developed by LG Innotek will embody a dual-lens system, which will reportedly be integrated into the front panel of Apple’s iPhone 8 — with recently leaked images revealing that one lens will be placed on either side of the front earpiece.
When Will This 3D Technology Debut?
Apple’s advanced new 3D camera tech will be unveiled as a cornerstone feature of its upcoming iPhone 8 flagship, which could also be called the iPhone Edition, later on this year, according to several reports. While the top-tier iPhone is expected to debut alongside its iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus counterparts, however recent reports have suggested that the iPhone 8 might not actually begin shipping to customers until October of November, even though component manufacturing began early.
What Else Can We Expect from the iPhone 8?
In addition to this revolutionary new front-facing camera technology, Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone is believed to sport a number of next-generation features and enhancements, including an overall redesign boasting glass front and back panels, a massive 5.8-inch OLED display, wireless charging, better IP68 water- and dust-proofing certification, and a whole slate of upgraded internal components including Apple’s beastly new A11 SoC, an upgraded and reoriented dual-lens camera module around back, and far superior battery performance facilitated by OLED display technology.