Apple Supplier Orders Large Amounts Of 3D Sensors For The iPhone 8

Apple supplier Lumentum has recently reported a large increase in orders for 3D sensing laser components, which is said to be used in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 to allow for augmented reality features.

According to 9To5Mac, LoupVenture analyst Gene Munster has noted that the company ordered $200 million worth of 3D sensing lasers. Munster believes that around 55 million units of the upcoming iPhone will have the 3D sensing camera and will launch this year. In addition, Munster said that the iPhone 8 will have a capacity around 160 million units for next year.

We believe the majority, if not they entire order, is all being shipped to Apple. We believe these comments further confirms 3D sensing (and in-turn AR applications) will be a focus feature in the next iPhone. In addition, Lumentum highlighted they have increased VCSEL laser capacity by 25 – 30% from what they anticipated only one quarter ago.  Given the uptick in Management’s demand forecast, we believe advanced 3D sensing capabilities will be integrated in more iPhones that what most were previously expecting.

The company remains hopeful that Apple will release the new iPhones this September and will ship 133 million units in the 2H of CY17. As for the price of the iPhone 8, Munster says to expect its price to start at $950.

 We anticipate the company will ship 133M units in the 2H of CY17. Assuming Lumentum controls ~50% of the total consumer VSCEL laser market, the majority of all VCSEL lasers produced are going to Apple, and the total VCSEL laser cost (high and low-end) is ~$6 – 7, we believe 55M new iPhones (43%) will incorporate VCSEL lasers, enabling advanced 3D sensing capabilities…We anticipate the high-end iPhone SKU will incorporate a low-end and high-end VCSEL laser. The low-end will be front facing, while the high-end laser will be on the back side of the device. We believe the low-end lasers will cost $2 – $3, while the high-end lasers will range from $3 – $4. When factoring in manufacturing costs the total bill of materials could cost ~$20.

We’re weeks away before Apple finally unveils its new line-up of iPhones which includes the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and the iPhone 8.