Lumentum, Apple’s leading supplier of Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components, created a bit of a stir Wednesday morning.
From a note to subscribers by Loop Ventures’ Gene Munster:
Massive VCSEL Laser Order Confirms Apple Continues to Bet Big on Augmented Reality
In the June-qtr, Lumentum recorded $5M in 3D sensing revenue, but more impressively they received over $200M in bookings in the quarter, which they believe will all be shipped by CY17. We believe the majority, if not they entire order, is all being shipped to Apple.
We believe these comments further confirms 3D sensing (and in-turn AR applications) will be a focus feature in the next iPhone. In addition, Lumentum highlighted they have increased VCSEL laser capacity by 25 – 30% from what they anticipated only one quarter ago. Given the uptick in Management’s demand forecast, we believe advanced 3D sensing capabilities will be integrated in more iPhones that what most were previously expecting…
Following, these positive data points, we have three key takeaways regarding the upcoming iPhone launch. 1) The next iPhone launch remains on track to be released in September. 2) Advanced 3D sensing technologies are likely going to be integrated in more phones that previously anticipated. 3) This coupled with the release of Apple’s ARkit in June at WWDC, Apple continues to bet big on AR.
UPDATE: Tavis McCourt from Raymond James has also weighed in:
Our Thoughts: As it relates to Apple, all this tells us is the wheels are clearly in motion for the iPhone OLED builds. We still expect supply to be somewhat limited as we don’t believe optical componentry was ever likely to be a gating factor to overall production, but confirmatory data points should continue to improve investor sentiment around the iPhone OLED launch and its potential supply risk