Bosch has won orders to supply Apple with some of the motion sensors in its next range of iPhones, according to a report by Bloomberg, potentially loosening Invensense’s position as the primary supplier of the smartphone components.
California-based Invensense exclusively supplied the gyroscopes and accelerometers in the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7, but Apple’s new deal with Bosch could see the German firm supply as much as half of the motion-sensing components in Apple’s upcoming phones.
Bosch already supplies the barometric pressure sensors for the iPhone, but the deal could reflect Apple’s aim to source components from at least two suppliers to make it easier to negotiate cheaper prices.
Invensense is currently seeking to complete a $1.3 billion sale to Tokyo-based TDK Corp, which had hoped to strengthen its business with Apple as part of the deal. “We aim to become a strong player in the sensor business with InvenSense as our perfect partner,” TDK CEO Shigenao Ishiguro said in December, when the purchase agreement was first made. Shares in Invensense dipped more than 5 percent on Thursday’s news.
Apple has a major iPhone redesign planned this year, with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that includes an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor and front-facing camera. The new iPhone is expected to be sold alongside standard “S” cycle 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones.
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