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Apple is backing up AirPods with American jobs

15 December 2017, 08:22 | Gina Pena

Apple invests $390 million in US-made iPhone lasers

Apple Awards $390 Million to FaceID Tech Company Finisar

Finisar will use the money to refurbish a manufacturing plant in Texas where it will build chips created to power special iPhone features including Face ID, animojis and portrait photography. The laser chip maker will use the money to get its plant up and running again and will use the facility to make laser chips that power iPhone features such as Face ID, portrait photography, animoji, and others such. In May, Apple pledged $200 million to glass manufacturer Corning.

So it needs more VCSELs.

"VCSELs power some of the most sophisticated technology we've ever developed and we're thrilled to partner with Finisar over the next several years to push the boundaries of VCSEL technology and the applications they enable", Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

It's not unusual for Apple to finance its suppliers.

The Finisar investment will revive a manufacturing plant in Texas, and should help to create over 500 jobs, according to Apple. Apple replaced that with Face ID, its own version of facial recognition which has been prevalent in Android phones since the time Android 4.0 ICS.

It's worth noting that this is not an equity investment - Apple calls it an "award" in its press release.

Shares of Finisar leaped nearly 30% at the opening bell Wednesday.

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Finisar has clarified that the $390M contribution from Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund announced yesterday is not an investment in the company, but rather an agreed payment for anticipated future orders.

Finisar is the second company to receive an investment from Apple's USA manufacturing fund.

When combined with the company's nearby plant in Allen, Texas, Finisar's payroll in Northern Texas is expected to be $65 million.

"Questions have arisen regarding news reports of Apple's announcement this morning regarding a $390 million award to Finisar", Finisar said in a filing late Wednesday.

500 people will be hired to help build the TrueDepth cameras for the current iPhone X model. To give a sense of just how many VCSELs Apple will need in the coming years, it claims to have purchased 10 times as many lasers in the fourth quarter of 2017 as were previously produced worldwide over a similar three-month timeline.

It will only unlock your device when you look in the direction of the iPhone X with your eyes open.



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