According to industry insiders, voice coil motor (VCM) shipments for iPhones are projected to speed up in late June and outpace those for Android smartphones in July.
According to the sources, VCM producers in Taiwan and China anticipate shipments to rise up consistently through November as Apple continues to include the auto focus (AF) capability into camera modules for upcoming iPhones.
As per the sources, Mitsumi and Alps, both of Japan, are now the main suppliers of VCMs for the new iPhone camera modules, with the former significantly increasing contract production orders to Taiwanese companies like Audix and Chinese competitors like Zhonglan Electronic Technology, JCT Electronics, and GYZ Electronic Technology. According to the sources, Alps mostly handles automated manufacturing on its own.
The VCM makers primarily deliver shipments for Android handsets in the first half of the year, but such shipments are expected to be surpassed by those for iPhones in the second half, given that all new iPhones will include the sensor-shift OIS (optical image stabilization) function, according to the sources, who also added that the makers have been told to increase capacity by 30-40 percent to meet strong demand for shipments.
Sensor-shift OIS technology is now only available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but demand for VCMs to enable the feature will increase 3-4 times until all new iPhones have it, according to the sources.