Apple Inc. is spending $ 390 million to boost the manufacturer's production of laser technology that is essential for new features such as facial recognition in the latest iPhone X.
Apple, whose products can increase the manufacturing capabilities of the companies that supply it with components, will invest the money in Finisar Corp. from a $ 1 billion manufacturing fund announced earlier this year with the goal of creating more US jobs. Finisar will use the funds to reopen a plant in Sherman, Texas, which will employ 500 people, Apple said in a statement
The design process at Apple balances the creation of a breakthrough technology with the manufacturing challenge of finding vendors capable of providing the number of components needed to integrate new features into millions of handsets.
Many new facial recognition features from Apple – including one in which emoji follow a person's facial expressions – require lasers that follow the movement. The technology, which uses vertical cavity surface emitting lasers, is also part of the company's emerging augmented reality efforts. Apple announced that it would buy 10 times more technology this quarter than ever before over a three-month period.
The agreement with Finisar demonstrates Apple's ability to play the role of king among the component suppliers. After falling to $ 19.30 yesterday in New York, Finisar grew more than 30% in the market before the market opened following the announcement of the deal. A 3-D sensor competitor manufacturer, Lumentum Holdings Inc., has dropped more than 10 percent in pre-commercial trade.
Founded in 1988 and having 14,000 employees, Finisar has mainly manufactured components used in networks and the Internet, including sending voice and video communications, storage and television. His other clients include Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and Huawei Technologies Co.
With much of the manufacturing and assembly of its products in China, Apple has been criticized by US President Donald Trump and others for not having created more jobs at Tim Cook. Corning Inc., the manufacturer of glass for iPhone and iPad screens, has already received $ 200 million for glass processing.