LG Builds New Factory to Expand Production of iPhone Cameras

LG Innotek recently finished constructing a manufacturing plant in Vietnam, where it will produce single-lens and dual-lens camera modules for several iPhone models, according to South Korea's ETNews.


LG Innotek reportedly built the factory to expand its production capacity due to Apple's increasing demand for iPhone camera modules. Production costs are also lower in Vietnam, as workers are often paid less than in South Korea.

LG Innotek is said to be planning a production capacity of 100,000 modules per day by the end of this year, and it should start supplying them to Apple on a full-scale basis in 2018. Orders are expected to continue through at least 2019.

"It is heard that LG Innotek's plant in Vietnam is built in order to match increased orders from Apple," an industry representative told ETNews. "It is likely that there is already an outlook for 2018 from Apple."

LG Innotek already has production lines exclusively for Apple, its largest customer, at its factory in Gumi, South Korea. It extends these lines whenever there is a large increase in the number of orders, according to the report.

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LG Screen Manager App for UltraFine Displays Updated for macOS High Sierra

Alongside its UltraFine 4K and 5K displays developed in partnership with Apple, LG offers an LG Screen Manager app for Mac that serves to manage various functions of the display, including handling firmware updates for the display itself, accessing windowing features such as automatic splitting of the desktop into up to four sections, and more. LG Screen Manager includes a menu item for quick access to its desktop splitting features, as well as a full app for more advanced features.


Recently, LG released an updated version of LG Screen Manager for macOS High Sierra, ensuring compatibility with the latest Mac operating system and debuting a new notification system that will automatically alert you whenever there are updates for your display.

In addition to the new compatibility and update notifications, the latest update to LG Screen Manager includes tweaks and enhancements for the display firmware that were rolled out earlier this summer. Among those tweaks is fine tuning of the volume curve, which addresses some early complaints about the volume control not being fine enough at the low end of the range with a significant increase in volume between even the first and second levels. The new volume curve allows for much finer adjustment at the low end.

Other features in the display firmware update include improvements to low-light performance of the camera and better compatibility for devices connected to the three downstream USB-C ports on the rear of the display.

The updated LG Screen Manager app, version 2.08, is available for download from LG's support site.

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Report Claims LG Will Be Sole Supplier of Batteries for Next Year’s ‘iPhone 9’

LG Chemical will be the sole supplier of batteries for Apple's "iPhone 9" next year, according to The Korea Economic Daily. If the report is accurate, the South Korean firm has scored a big win, since Apple usually takes a multi-vendor approach when it comes to sourcing batteries for its iPhones.

Citing industry insiders, the newspaper said LG has made a sizable investment to bolster the capability of its facilities and that production of the batteries would begin in 2018.

"LG has invested hundred of billions of Korean won for related facilities and plans to start mass production from early next year," the Korean-language report quoted a source in the chemical industry as saying.
The report added that the battery LG will produce for the so-called "iPhone 9" is L-shaped, a design that's also previously been tipped for this year's OLED "iPhone 8" and should allow for better battery life.

The L-shape, which is bent at the bottom, represents an increase in size over current rectangular iPhone batteries and depends on the PCB mainboard being more compact to make space for it. Today's report also claims the altered shape is expected to result in faster charging speeds.

A report in May claimed the iPhone 9 will launch in two 5.28-inch and 6.46-inch OLED variants, with Samsung expected to be the supplier for the OLED displays.

(Via CNBC.)

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LG Innotek to Begin Mass Producing Flexible Printed Circuit Boards With Eye on 2018’s ‘iPhone 9’

LG Innotek will begin mass production of flexible printed circuit boards in 2018, with supply chain sources stating that the supplier aims to become one of the main FPCB manufacturers for the "iPhone 9" (via The Korea Economic Daily).

The sources said that LG Innotek is nearing the completion of development on its first FPCB run, and will "likely" break ground for FPCB-focused facilities in the second half of 2017. The supplier is focusing on becoming a main FPCB component maker for Apple and LG Electronics, and would enter into the field currently dominated by Samsung and its production on FPCB components for the 2017 iPhone 8.


LG Innotek is set to kick-start the mass production of flexible printed circuit boards for smartphones from next year. With this move to become a flexible PCB supplier for Apple's iPhone, LG Innotek would pose a challenge to Samsung Electro-Mechanics which has already accumulated know-how in this area.

According to industry sources on June 25, LG Innotek has almost completed the development of flexible PCBs and would likely to break the ground for related facilities in the latter half of this year. LG Innotek aims to become a main flexible PCB supplier for Apple and LG Electronics.
With Apple's move to an OLED display in the iPhone 8 this year, the company had to source flexible PCBs because existing PCBs were incompatible with the new flexible OLED screen. Although early rumors pointed towards a display with a curved edges around the sides of the iPhone, it's now expected that the iPhone 8 will have the same slightly curved 2.5D display of the iPhone 7.

The supply chain report today is the second story in the past few weeks that has already begun looking towards next year and the so-called "iPhone 9" that is expected to launch fall 2018. In May, sources knowledgeable of Apple's and Samsung's iPhone 9 supply chain talks said that the 2018 smartphone will launch in two OLED screen sizes: 5.28-inch and 6.46-inch.

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LG Named as Supplier of iPhone 8’s 3D Facial Recognition System for Front-Facing Camera

LG Innotek will supply Apple with 3D facial recognition modules for the iPhone 8, according to The Korea Economic Daily (via The Investor).

iPhone 8 concept with two cameras and two sensors by Benjamin Geskin

LG, which already supplies Apple with dual-lens camera modules for the rear-facing iSight Duo camera on the iPhone 7 Plus, reportedly plans to build a new $238 million plant for production of the 3D facial recognition modules, which will be part of the iPhone 8's front-facing FaceTime camera system.

It's not entirely clear if the front-facing camera will also have dual lenses, or retain a single lens in line with previous iPhone models.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities previously said the iPhone 8 will have a "revolutionary" front-facing camera system with 3D sensing capabilities, fueled by algorithms from PrimeSense, an Israeli company that Apple acquired in 2013. PrimeSense was known for developing Microsoft's first Kinect sensor for Xbox.

Kuo said the iPhone 8's front camera system will include two infrared modules that are able to determine the location and depth of objects placed in front of it, with potential applications including facial recognition, iris scanning, and some combination of augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
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LG UltraFine 5K Display Named ‘Best Photo Monitor’ in 2017 TIPA Awards

LG's UltraFine 5K Display has received a 2017 TIPA Award as the "best photo monitor," the company announced today.


TIPA on its website said the display "brings professional photos and videos to life" with 5K resolution, while it also praised the display's single-cable Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and DCI-P3 wide color support. TIPA said the display reflects a "good demonstration of LG's expertise" with an "eye to the future."

TIPA, short for the Technical Image Press Association, is made up of a group of editors from 27 photography and imaging magazines worldwide. Editors from the magazines met in Havana, Cuba earlier this month to vote on the best imaging products of 2017, and the UltraFine 5K was the only display to win an award.

The award is somewhat humorous given that LG's UltraFine 5K Display suffered from a shielding-related manufacturing defect that caused the display to glitch or turn off when in close proximity to a Wi-Fi router or, in some cases, even a MacBook Pro. LG has since fixed the issue and replaced affected displays.

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LG’s 32-Inch ‘4K’ Wide Color USB-C Display Now Available for $999

LG's new 32UD99 display is now available to order for $999 from retailers such as Amazon and B&H Photo Video, as noted by AnandTech.


The 31.5-inch IPS LED display features Ultra HD resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels, which is often marketed as 4K, support for 95% of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and a USB-C input for single-cable connectivity with a 12-inch MacBook or 2016 MacBook Pro. It also supports HDR10 and AMD FreeSync.

A complete rundown of the LG 32UD99 display's tech specs:
  • 31.5-inch
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution (3,840×2,160 pixels)
  • 140 PPI
  • IPS LED
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 5ms response time
  • DCI-P3 wide color gamut (95%)
  • 550 nits peak brightness
  • Ports: USB-C input, DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0a ports, and two USB 3.0 ports
  • Up to ~60W power delivery to MacBook Pro
  • Other features: HDR10, AMD FreeSync, dual 10W speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, narrow bezel design with pivoting and height adjustable stand

Here's how LG's UltraFine 5K Display, now $1,299.95, stacks up:
  • 27-inch
  • 5K resolution (5,120×2,880 pixels)
  • 217 PPI
  • IPS LED
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 12-14ms response time
  • DCI-P3 wide color gamut (99%)
  • 500 nits peak brightness
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 3 input and three USB-C 3.1 ports
  • Up to 85W power delivery to MacBook Pro
  • Other features: Built-in 1080p camera, dual 5W speakers, microphone, Thunderbolt 3 cable included, adjustable and VESA compatible stand
LG's 32UD99 arguably looks nicer than the UltraFine 5K, while its larger screen, HDR10, and AMD FreeSync support are attractive features for gamers. But, for $300 less, you are getting Ultra HD resolution instead of 5K, USB-C instead of Thunderbolt 3, no webcam, lower power delivery, and slightly less coverage of the P3 color gamut.

Read our Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Display Buyer's Guide for other options.


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How to Tell Whether Your New LG UltraFine 5K Display Has the Shielding Fix

Last week, we shared a brief video showing that LG's revisions to the shielding in the UltraFine 5K display have successfully addressed issues with the display flickering and disconnecting when in close proximity to Wi-Fi routers. Apple and LG had temporarily pulled the display from the market while LG adjusted its manufacturing processes to incorporate the fix and push the new stock into sales channels, and sales of the revised display began earlier this month.

At the time of last week's post, we noted that customers purchasing the UltraFine 5K display should check for serial numbers beginning with 702 or 703, as these indicate manufacturing dates of February or March after the fix was put into place. Several MacRumors readers subsequently reported, however, that they have recently received units shipped from Apple with serial numbers starting with 612, indicating manufacturing dates in December 2016.

These readers have been uncertain as to whether their units have the revised shielding in place, or if they should be testing their displays to see if the flickering issue can be induced. One reader noticed that the label on the box of his December UltraFine 5K included a black circular sticker at the top left, a sticker that was not present on our original UltraFine 5K display that was manufactured in November and shipped in December and which was susceptible to the interference issue.

December 2016 unit retrofitted prior to sale (left) vs. March 2017 unit properly shielded from the start (right)

Newly manufactured UltraFine 5K units include a black square printed directly on the label in the same location, and LG has confirmed to MacRumors that the presence of a circle or square does in fact indicate that the unit has the revised internal shielding and should be protected from the interference issues.

While LG did not explicitly confirm any difference between a circle and a square, it appears that the square is indicative of a unit that was originally manufactured with the proper shielding, while the circle is used on earlier units that were subsequently retrofitted with the shielding before sale. There should be no difference in the performance of the two versions.

For those users with units lacking a circle or square on the label and thus susceptible to the Wi-Fi interference, LG is conducting free repairs to install the proper shielding. Users are advised to contact LG to arrange for the repair, which can take up to 7-10 business days once the display is received by the repair facility.

Customers interested in purchasing the UltraFine 5K should remember that Apple's 25 percent discount on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 accessories is still scheduled to end on March 31, so they have just over a week to order the display at its discounted price of $974 before it goes back up to its regular price of $1299.95. It is possible Apple could extend the discount as it has done once already, but there are no guarantees.

Related Roundup: Displays
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Review: LG’s $1500 38UC99 UltraWide Display Offers a Giant, Desk-Filling Workspace

We've already looked at LG's UltraFine 5K and 27UD88 displays as companions for Apple's latest notebooks, and today we're taking a look at another USB-C display option that brings something quite different: LG's 38UC99 curved "UltraWide" display.


This is a desk-filling display in the truest sense of the term: 37.5 inches on the diagonal with a 21:9 aspect ratio and a native resolution of 3840x1600. It has fewer pixels than a true 4K or Ultra HD display, but its sheer size makes up for it in some unique ways. While the UltraFine 5K and 27UD88 displays work best at Retina or scaled resolutions, the 38UC99 uses a full 3840x1600 desktop that leaves everything on screen at just the right size to be useful. No, it's not a Retina display in this mode, but until we have 8K displays this will have to do.

Even without Retina resolution, this display is impressive. The sheer size of it gives you so much flexibility in terms of your workspace. I can easily have three large windows open side-by-side with room to spare.

UltraFine 5K, 38UC99, 2016 MacBook Pro (left to right)

I've been testing this in a three-display setup with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, an UltraFine 5K, and the 38UC99. It's a ridiculous amount of desktop space that I can barely fit on my desk, and the MacBook Pro with entry-level graphics runs all of it without breaking a sweat.
Continue reading Review: LG’s $1500 38UC99 UltraWide Display Offers a Giant, Desk-Filling Workspace

LG’s UltraFine 5K Display Shielding Fix Successfully Addresses Wi-Fi Interference Issues

LG's UltraFine 5K Display returned to the market earlier this month after LG made some changes to the display's shielding following the discovery that the original design left the display vulnerable to interference from Wi-Fi routers and other electronics. The issue was a bit of a black eye for Apple, considering the company recently elected to exit the display market and instead partnered with LG on the new 27-inch UltraFine 5K and its smaller sibling, the 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K.

We purchased one of the original UltraFine 5K units back in December, with our model carrying a manufacturing month of November 2016 based on its serial number. LG has now provided us with a unit manufactured last month after the design revisions were put in place, and we've had a few days to compare the performance of the two units in the presence of Wi-Fi routers.


In day-to-day usage, we failed to see any issues with the original model, even with an AirPort Time Capsule located just three feet from the display, inside the two-meter radius LG recommended users should keep as a minimum once the company discovered the issue.

We were, however, able to induce the issue in the unit by bringing another Time Capsule into very close proximity with the rear of the display, causing it to flicker and disconnect from the host computer. The display sometimes reconnected to the computer on its own once the interference was removed, but other times it required that the Thunderbolt 3 cable be briefly unplugged or even the entire UltraFine 5K be power cycled before it would reconnect.

With the revised UltraFine 5K Display in hand, we've been able to subject both displays to side-by-side testing that confirms the issue has been successfully addressed. While the issue is easily reproducible on the original model as long as the Wi-Fi router is in close enough proximity, we were unable to recreate the issue on the revised model despite extensive efforts.


With Apple once again shipping the UltraFine 5K Display, new orders are currently showing in-stock availability in Apple's U.S. online store, although Personal Pickup remains unavailable.

Apple's discounted pricing on the display of $974 is scheduled to run through the end of this month, at which time the display will return to its normal $1299.95 price. Apple already extended its discounted pricing on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 accessories once and it's possible the promotion could again be extended, but for those who want to make sure they receive the discounted pricing, they should be sure to order by March 31.

Customers purchasing the UltraFine 5K Display, regardless of what vendor they use, should make sure they are receiving revised units to ensure they are protected from the Wi-Fi interference issue. The first three digits of the display's serial number (visible on the exterior of the box) correspond to the last digit of the year and the two-digit month of manufacture, so buyers should look for serial numbers starting with 702 or 703.

Those who purchased earlier units may be eligible for repairs if their units are exhibiting the interference issue, and affected customers should contact LG or Apple for information on repair procedures.

We've arranged for a repair of our affected unit through the live chat option. Once the repair request is initiated it can take a day or two to receive a shipping label and repair details, and LG tells us it can take up to 7-10 business days for the actual repair once the display has been received at the service facility.

Related Roundup: Displays
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