South Korea’s ITM Semiconductor has supplied the battery protection circuit – most likely the Protection Circuit Module – to US-based Apple’s iPhone 11 series to mark its first time supplying to the phones, according to industry sources on Dec. 5. Market watchers believe the KRW 24 billion of operating profit ITM posted in the third quarter is partly due to supplying the iPhones.
Unlike when it supplied the AirPod Pros, however, ITM is not the sole supplier. Taiwan’s Compeq and Japan’s MinebeaMitsumi are also supplying the parts.
For stable supply, ITM Semiconductor is looking to soon complete its third plant in Vietnam. “Progress was a bit a delayed and we weren’t able to finish by November as planned, but things will be wrapped up by the end of this year,” said one ITM official.
The third plant will exclusively be supplying Apple. The official added that the company has already secured the plot for a fourth plant as well. This indicates that the firm is expecting to secure more deals for earphones and even iPhones in the future.
ITM is seen to have supplied Protection Circuit Modules (PCM) and not its customized Protection Module Packages, as Compeq and MinebeaMitsumi can manufacturer only PCMs.
In the new iPhones to be released in 2020, however, industry sources believe the PMP may be applied. They say that PCs and tablets may also be supplied with the circuits.
This year, ITM is capable of producing up to a monthly 92 million battery protection circuits. Once the third plant in Vietnam goes into operation, it can go up to a monthly 100 million. The firm’s monthly capacity goal by 2021 is 110 million.
In addition to Apple, ITM Semiconductor may also get orders from Chinese firms such as Huawei and Oppo. Within the next three years, ITM is targeting sales of KRW 900 billion.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.