• Apple is currently looking for ways to continue production in China amid the spread of COVID-19
  • An analyst says Apple might acquire lenses for the iPhone from various sources
  • Its exclusive lens supplier will be overtaken by other companies

The current 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak has caused losses and tremendous setbacks to businesses particularly in China, where the virus initially started spreading. Apple itself faced significant delays in the production of upcoming iPhones.

Previous reports indicated that Apple is struggling to continue the production of this year's flagship models in the iPhone 12 lineup. It is able to continue the production of the iPhone SE successor by moving processes to different locations such as Taiwan and India. For now, however, the company is still looking for ways to meet its target schedule.

One of the things that Apple is doing to that end is diversifying its lens suppliers for the iPhone 12 series. Apple Insider reported that according to a research note from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (uploaded to Weibo), Apple will be ordering lens from various sources, and might not rely on just one “exclusive” supplier.


In the research note, Kuo noted that Yujingguang, which used to be Apple's primary lens supplier, is currently reeling from the effects of COVID-19 and is seen to have significantly lower revenue “than the market consensus” in 1Q20, while visibility for its shipments for 2Q20 is “still low” at the moment particularly because the lead time for lens orders are shorter than other parts.

The company's capacity utilization rate won't be improving significantly until May “at the earliest,” Kuo said. Furthermore, the supplier's inventory is very low, which means it won't be able to produce as much as Apple needs.

Apple, Kuo noted, will order lens from a company named “Daliguang” which might “obtain 30-40% of the new 2H20 iPhone's high unit price ultra-wide-angle lens orders.” The analyst indicated that Daliguang, which is “estimated” to improve capacity utilization in order to supply Cupertino with its demands, will overtake Yujingguang and “break” its current situation.

Kuo added that a third company, Sunny Optical, will obtain Apple's orders for iPhone lenses in 2021, further hurting Yujingguang's business. The analyst reported that the third company's development of iPhone lenses is “progressing smoothly,” and that it will be a major concern for Yujingguang in the near future.

These efforts indicate that Apple is continually working to produce devices and meet its targets amid the spread of COVID-19. Time will tell if the devices will be released according to schedule.

iPhone 11 Pro Unboxing
iPhone 11 Pro. Aaron Yoo(CC BY-ND 2.0)