Derkwoo Electronics is expected to post record profits this year thanks to its supply deal with Apple.
The South Korean component maker will supply brackets and stiffeners for the camera modules on the iPhone 12 series launching in the second half of the year, people familiar with the matter told TheElec on Wednesday.
This is on top of Derkwoo’s supply deal for the 2020-model iPhone SE, which launched earlier this year.
The brackets are attached at the front of the module to hold it in place, while stiffeners are attached at the back of the module to increase sensitivity for wireless signals and protect the module from foreign matters. One bracket is needed per module and one stiffener per lens. Brackets are the pricier of the two components.
Derkwoo’s goods are supplied to LG InnoTek, which assembles them to its camera module that is supplied to Apple.
Apple is planning to launch four models in the iPhone 12 series __ iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max are expected to have dual cameras while the other two devices have triple cameras and 3D ToF (Time of Flight) modules.
Derkwoo has won the bracket order for the dual camera modules and ToF modules, the people said. It is supplying the stiffener for all four models.
According to Derkwoo’s filings to South Korean financial authorities, it accounted for 46% of brackets and stiffeners that Apple used for its smartphones last year. It said it sold a total of 305 million units of them in the same year, a 12% increase from 2018’s 271 million units.
It competes with China’s Triotek, Malaysia’s Sunway and the UK’s Laird in brackets and stiffeners.
Derkwoo began supplying stiffeners to Apple in 2013 and brackets in 2016.
The company posted 5 billion won in operating profits and 43 billion won in revenue in the first quarter of the year, a return to profit and an increase of 160% year over year, respectively.
It is also currently supplying components for iPad Pro’s 3D ToF module. The deal alone is expected to contribute 10 billion won to Derkwoo’s sales this year.
South Korean analysts are expecting Derkwoo to post over 140 billion in annual sales this year, around 10% higher than last year’s 129.3 billion won. Last year, 74% of the company’s sales came from components for camera modules in smartphones. 17% came from auto-components and 3% from bio and new businesses.