During its FQ4 conference call this morning, Apple supplier Lumentum reported a huge increase in orders for 3D sensing laser components thought to be included in the upcoming iPhone 8 to enable advanced augmented reality features, as noted by analyst Gene Munster at LoupVentures. To be specific, the company has $200M in orders during the quarter up from just $5 million in revenue for the 3D sensing tech during the June quarter.
Based on the new info from Lumentum, Munster is predicting around 55m units of the next-gen iPhone models with the 3D sensing camera tech this year and capacity for around 160m next year:
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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 55m units account for less than half of the total 133 million units Munster expects Apple to sell this year following the iPhone launch in September since he, along with others, predicts only the higher-end models will include the feature.
Munster expects the models with the 3D sensing tech 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.
Catch up on the latest iPhone 8 reports here.