Evidence that Apple is planning to bring Face ID to its new smartphones this year continues to mount, this time thanks to a quarterly update from VCSEL supplier Lumentum.
As a provider of vertical cavity surface emitting laser technology, Lumentum is a key supplier for Apple’s flagship facial recognition system, which is designed to create a 3D map of a given user’s face using a projected infrared grid. And according to a new report from Loup Ventures, Lumentum’s newly issued quarterly results were better than expected, thanks to increased orders from major customers like Apple.
What’s more, according to post on Loup Ventures’ website, Lumentum “continues to anticipate order volume to significantly accelerate in [the] Sep-18 and Dec-18 quarter.” The report adds, “While the company announced new 3D sensing wins with Android manufacturers, we believe a high percentage of these orders were secured by Apple.”
That, of course, suggests that Apple is planning to bring Face ID to more devices.
For its part, Loup Ventures concludes that Apple is bringing the system to two more iPhone models, in addition to the iPhone X that introduced Face ID to consumers last autumn. That’s actually a little out of step with the latest rumors, with an anonymous supplier having reported in May that Apple is planning to bring Face ID to three new iPhones this year. But given that other recent rumors have suggested that one of Apple’s three new smartphone models to be announced this autumn will be a more budget-friendly iPhone, it’s fair to expect that Face ID might prove to be too expensive for that particular device.
Meanwhile, Loup Ventures also expects Face ID to come to the iPad, an idea that recently received some substantial validation with the discovery of an iPad icon in iOS 12 documentation that has thin bezels and no home button – suggesting the new iPad will ditch Touch ID, presumably in favor of Face ID.