Digitimes posted a report yesterday that predicts higher shipments for iPhone voice coil motors (VCM) starting late next month. In July, deliveries of VCM for iOS will outnumber such shipments for Android units according to industry sources. The VCM is used to help a camera focus, and it is made of a magnet, a yoke, and a coil with the latter being the only moving component allowing for “high-speed motion and accurate positioning.”
VCM manufacturers expect shipments to trend higher through November as Apple is expected to include sensor-shift OIS (optical image stabilization) on all four 2021 iPhone 13 series models. This feature is currently available only on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. With sensor-shift OIS, the camera sensor moves to adjust for shaky hands instead of the lens. VCM manufacturers have been told to increase production by 30% to 40% with strong demand for the iPhone 13 series expected.
Citing its sources, Digitimes says that a pair of Japanese VCM suppliers, Mitsumi and Alps, are the main source of VCMs for iPhone cameras. Mitsumi is sending out orders to a Taiwan contract manufacturer like Audix, and Chinese firms like Zhonglan Electronic Technology, JCT Electronics and GYZ Electronic Technology. Alps is responsible for its own production.
All four iPhone 13 models will feature sensor-shift OIS
Demand for VCMs will rise three to four fold as Apple adds sensor-shift OIS to all iPhone models. Additionally, we expect the 2021 iPhone units to sport a 120Hz ProMotion display that refreshes the screen 120 times per second to deliver buttery smooth scrolling and enhanced animations. All four handsets will be powered by the A15 Bionic chipset that TSMC should be able to produce with its enhanced 5nm+ process.
The 2021 iPhone models could offer users a storage option as large as 1TB, new color choices, and as foreshadowed by the use of sensor-shift OIS for all four models, upgrades to the handsets’ cameras. We also might see a smaller notch and larger batteries. But we won’t know for sure what to expect until Apple introduces the new models sometime this September.