LG Innotek is supplying facial recognition camera modules for Apple's "iPhone 8," according to reports out of South Korea, using a new facility dedicated to Apple products.
The factory, announced on April 27, is worth about $238.5 million, the Korea Economic Daily said on Thursday, cited by The Investor. The value of Apple's initial order is estimated around $177 million.
LG Innotek already supplies rear-facing, dual-lens camera modules for the iPhone 7 Plus, but the new factory was reportedly needed because the facial recognition modules will be both smaller and front-facing.
The "iPhone 8" will use a 3D version of facial recognition, The Investor said, offering better accuracy than phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, which use 2D technology.
3D facial recognition has long been rumored for the new iPhone, which could ship in October if not later. Its main feature is expected to be an 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED screen, swapping a physical home button for a virtual one.
Because Apple has allegedly had trouble merging a Touch ID sensor into the screen, some earlier rumors hinted that Apple might rely entirely on eye-based biometrics. Those have largely faded, although the company may still be planning to support iris scanning.
LG Innotek is likely on the verge of shipping its first sensors if it isn't already, as other "iPhone 8" parts suppliers like TSMC are believed to be ramping up production.