Apple reportedly has a two-year lead over most Android manufacturers with its 3D sensing tech on the iPhone X. The new 3D sensing tech on Cupertino’s flagship iPhone powers the new Face ID feature, which allows for seamless authentication for payments, and improved AR capabilities. Apple has apparently been able to take a huge lead over Android manufacturers like Samsung and Xiaomi due to production bottlenecks.
Reuters reports that suppliers worldwide are struggling to produce a key part of the 3D sensing tech used on the iPhone X: the vertical-cavity-surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs. While suppliers work on expanding production over the next 2 years, Android manufacturers will struggle to obtain supply of the VCSEL chips to build their own 3D sensing tech. With many VCSEL suppliers working to ramp up their production in 2019, one of the suppliers expect a second smartphone maker to introduce their own 3D sensing tech by the end of this year.
Apple’s lead in the market has mostly been made possible by the company’s huge $390 million investment VCSEL supplier Finisar last year. As Android manufacturers continue to struggle with low availability of VCSEL chips, Apple is expected to bring its new 3D sensing tech and Face ID to the entire 2018 iPhone lineup later this year.