Apple stockpiling 'massive' supply of camera lens modules ahead of 'iPhone 8'

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Since July, Apple has reportedly been working to secure a "massive" quantity of camera lens modules for this fall's new iPhones — something that could be aided by one of its suppliers launching a new factory by the end of September.

Apple's demand is driving high revenues for two Taiwan-based suppliers, Largan Precision and Genius Electronics Optical, DigiTimes said on Friday. Largan, a frequent Apple supplier, is spending $661 million on the new factory in Taichung, but still recruiting workers.

Reports have so far pointed to three iPhones coming this year. Of these, two — the "iPhone 8" and "iPhone 7s Plus" — are expected to use dual-lens cameras like last year's iPhone 7 Plus, enabling optical zoom and a "Portait" mode that artificially blurs backgrounds. The standard "7s" will likely stick to a single-lens camera.

Largan's factory could alleviate bottlenecks in the Apple supply chain. Indeed some reports have hinted that the "iPhone 8" won't go into mass production until mid-September, making any supply chain help vital.

The late start has typically been attributed to problems with the phone's 5.8-inch OLED display, however, which could mean Largan's efforts will have a minimal impact.