Apple is reportedly dropping iPhone camera supplier O-Film after serious allegations regarding forced labor. In July 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce had added O-Film to a list of eleven companies allegedly involved in human rights violations against Uighur Muslim minorities.
Apple reportedly dropping iPhone camera supplier O-Film over forced labor allegations
In a recent report by TheElec, the publication claims that Chinese company O-Film Group has been kicked out of Apple’s camera module supply chain. However, in the same report, it is mentioned that the company will still supply modules for lower-tier iPhones.
It is estimated that O-film Tech supplies about 10% of Apple’s camera modules. LG Innotek is said to supply about around 50% of what the Cupertino tech giant needs for the iPhone camera, and Sharp satisfies about 30% of the demand.
“O’Film’s modules accounted for around mid-10% of those used by Apple in its smartphones. LG InnoTek’s account for some 50% and Sharp 30%.
The Chinese company will now likely only supply camera modules for legacy iPhones. It won’t be able to supply to newly launched iPhones.
LG InnoTek had supplied the triple camera and time of flight (ToF) module for iPhones 12 Pro and iPhones 12 Pro Max. The company will likely now also supply modules for lesser tier iPhones.”
If O-Film is going to stay in the supply chain for older iPhones, it is possible that the tech giant needs time to look for replacement suppliers and will eventually drop O-Film entirely.
Just last month, The Washington Post reported that Apple was lobbying against a bill called ‘The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’ which “would require U.S. companies to guarantee they do not use imprisoned or coerced workers from the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang.”
A more recent report regarding the matter suggests that Apple wants the United States government, not individual companies, to decide whether or not a Chinese company was indeed implicated in the use of forced labor.