Apple may use Ball Guide Actuators and more from Korea's Jahwa Electronics for a Future iPhone with a Periscope Zoom Lens System
In October 2021, Patently Apple posted a report titled "LG Innotek reportedly secures a deal with Apple for a future Periscope Lens for iPhone while advancing Liquid Lens Technology." The report pointed to LG Innotek winning a patent battle with Samsung's Corephotonics to clear the way for Apple to adopt a periscope camera for a future iPhone. The report further noted that while LG Innotek was likely to be the folded camera candidate, Apple was to secure "ball guide actuators" from Korea's Jahwa Electronics and Samsung Electro-Mechanics. Apple had visited Jahwa last September to discuss matters.
Apple has patents on record (01, 02, 03 and 04) that could workaround Samsung patents, though Apple could simplify matters by licensing the required patents if need be to remove this snag in finalizing a plan for a folded camera lens with LG Innotek or other supplier.
Today, a new report by The Elec in Korea points to Jahwa Electronics having announced that it plans to spend 191 billion won on building facilities to produce new models.
The company currently supplies optical image stabilization (OIS) actuators to Samsung for the Galaxy S22 series smartphones.
The size of the spending plan, which will last until March next year, indicates that Jahwa Electronics had secured a new customer besides Samsung __ likely Apple __ and will begin supplying OIS actuators from its new facilities next year, people familiar with the matter said.
As Cupertino conventionally asks its suppliers to build production lines exclusive for itself, Jahwa Electronics’ new facilities will likely supply only to the iPhone maker.
The South Korean parts maker will likely begin supplying Apple with OIS actuators during the second quarter of next year.
The OIS actuators made at the new facilities are likely for telephoto cameras. For more, read the full report from The Elec.
While The Elec's report is noteworthy, our report in October noted that Apple was to secure "ball guide actuators" from Korea's Jahwa Electronics.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics uses a ball guide actuator to move the lens barrel. This is considered more advanced than spring actuators that Apple is currently using on the cameras for its iPhones.
Folded zoom can accommodate more lenses and larger image sensors, which requires precise control of them which the ball guide method is more advantageous in. This is where Jahwa is likely to play a major role next year.