Technology giant Apple will now fully cooperate with Korean manufacturers instead of Chinese manufacturers for the camera components it uses in iPhone models.

Apple has decided to expand its cooperation with South Korean manufacturers that produce components for smartphone cameras. The reorganization of the supply chain is shown as a necessary precaution due to the trade war between the USA and China.

According to the Korea IT News portal, after Apple cut ties with the Chinese company Ofilm, which manufactures camera components, it has to cooperate with Korean manufacturers. Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisted the manufacturer, after which Apple was forced to seek new partners.

OFilm said on March 16 that “a foreign company” has decided to end its partnership with Chinese manufacturers and subsidiaries. Although it does not directly mention Apple’s name, OFilm is known to receive a significant portion of its revenue from the joint venture, and after the trade ended, it had to sell its camera production to Chinese Wingtech.

Before the sanctions, Apple bought camera components from OFilm, Sharp and LG Innotek and now has to look for new partners in South Korea. In addition to LG Innotek, the biggest player in the optical components market, Apple is said to be in talks with some smaller manufacturers to focus on ToF sensors as well as optics and other modules.

Korean companies are hopeful of Apple
Usually the company is very careful in choosing new partners. It usually takes up to two years to contact a contractor, obtain prototypes, evaluate their quality, review production, and analyze the potential partner’s finances and capacity building plans.

Korean manufacturers with whom Apple has begun to consider working together since last year are expected to have this chance soon. Following LG’s decision to halt smartphone production, many local companies found themselves in a dilemma, and the Korean industry is relying on Apple as a new source of investment, according to a South Korean industry source.


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