Apple backs Finisar with US$390m for Face ID technology

Apple backs Finisar with US$390m for Face ID technology

Apple backs Finisar with US$390m for Face ID technology

Reuters reports that the Finisar deal not only guarantees future supply of a vital component for the iPhone X and its successors, but also makes it more hard for other smartphone manufacturers to compete. Apple replaced that with Face ID, its own version of facial recognition which has been prevalent in Android phones since the time Android 4.0 ICS. In fact, Apple has already stated it would be purchasing 10-times more VCSEL wafers in the Q4 2017 than was produced in the entire 2016.

Shares of Finisar, a Sunnyvale, California-based optical components maker, rose more than 30 percent to $25.41 on Wednesday morning.

It's also the latest from Apple's $1 billion "Advanced Manufacturing Fund", which, in addition to supporting American manufacturing jobs, also helps Apple rebuff criticism from Donald Trump-types that it only makes things in China.

The Finisar investment will help the company boost production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, which Apple uses for Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies with the iPhone X TrueDepth camera and the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.

Apple has announced it has invested a whopping $390 million in a firm that creates lasers.

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"This is one more example of Apple continuing to verticalize their supply chain by taking control of components that are hard to get or they think are critically important and that they can differentiate on", said Bob O'Donnell of Technalysis Research. 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.

Apple is making a substantial $390 million United States dollars investment into component maker Finisar.

When combined with the company's nearby plant in Allen, Texas, Finisar's payroll in Northern Texas is expected to be $65 million. The new plant, which will create 500 jobs, is expected to open in the second half of next year. Apple said that in the current calendar quarter ending December 31, it has bought more than 10 times as numerous lasers as had ever been manufactured over a similar time frame.

The iPhone X had a lot of changes that iPhone loyalists had been asking for. The iPhone X is now the only Apple product with a facial recognition sensor.

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