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Apple camera supplier O-Film may be out of the iPhone supply chain

O-Film has all but confirmed it has lost its place in the iPhone camera module supply chain, informing investors one "particular overseas client" has severed ties with the supplier.

A supplier of camera modules used by Apple in the iPhone lineup, O-Film was in trouble with Apple over human rights violations in 2020. One report in December claimed it had been dropped as an Apple supplier, but no real confirmation was made by O-Film until March.

The Chinese camera module producer has since told investors that it had been notified by a "particular overseas client" that the business relationship between the two companies was ending. O-Film didn't state it was Apple specifically, but follow-up statements indicated it was the most likely client.

"The impact of this specific customer order change on the company's operations and performance is still under evaluation, and there is considerable uncertainty," a statement received by Reuters mentions. The statement also added that the specific client contributed a hefty 22.51% to its operating income in 2019, indicating it was a major client.

In July 2020, O-Film was identified by the U.S. Department of Commerce as one of 11 companies added to a list of firms implicated in human rights violations. The group were allegedly associated with China's campaign against Muslim minorities from China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

By December, Apple was reported as starting to sever ties with O-Film over its forced labor practices. At the time, Apple was said to have restricted O-Film to supply modules for older iPhone models.

O-Film was believed to have provided Apple with 10% of its camera modules in 2020, a percentage that dropped over the previous four years. LG InnoTek and Sharp are the main module providers, and they are likely to benefit from O-Film's dismissal.

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