Apple Invests $390 Million In US Laser Manufacturer
15 December, 2017, 08:26 | Author: Shannon Newton
The investment comes from Apple's $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fundannounced back in May. Finisar is only the second firm to see a grant from the fund, after Corning received $200 million in May of this year. And let's be clear: This deal is as much about helping Finisar create a plant to build more VCSELs as it is about making sure Apple can dominate that supply at a favorable price - good for Apple, bad for competitors. It will also lead to more VCSELs for Apple in the latter half of 2018, helping to protect Apple against potential shortages from its leading VCSEL supplier, Lumentum. There have been rumors indicating that Apple will use the Face ID on upcoming iPhones and iPads.
Apple's award will create more than 500 high-skill jobs at the Sherman facility, including engineers, technicians and maintenance teams. The deal also suggests Apple will include these sensors in additional products.
"VCSELs power some of the most sophisticated technology we've ever developed, and we're thrilled to partner with Finisar over the next several years to push the boundaries of VCSEL technology and the applications they enable", Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a press release.
Shares of Finisar rival Lumentum Holdings Inc fell 12 percent to $45.80, which Henderson said validates how important 3D sensing technology is to Apple and other vendors. To give a sense of just how many VCSELs Apple will need in the coming years, it claims to have purchased 10 times as many lasers in the fourth quarter of 2017 as were previously produced worldwide over a similar three-month timeline.
Foxconn's announcement in July that it would open a plant in the United States was met with mixed responses in the ongoing conversation about American job creation. "We're extremely proud that our involvement will help transform another American community into a manufacturing powerhouse". Apple Inc is spending US$390 million (RM1.6 billion) to boost production from a maker of laser technology that's critical for new iPhone X features such as facial recognition.
500 people will be hired to help build the TrueDepth cameras for the current iPhone X model.
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