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Minor change to iPhone design ‘hits sales’ at Welsh tech firm

13 Sep 2021 2 minute read
Photo by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

A minor change to the design of the iPhone has hit the sales of a Welsh tech firm, it has been reported.

Cardiff-based IQE, which supplies Apple, said sales of a key component in smartphone facial recognition systems had fallen by 26pc in the first half of 2021.

This comes as the Silicon Valley giant prepares to announce a new iPhone later this month.

According to the Telegraph, the new phone expected to feature a smaller 3D sensor chip used in the Face ID technology that unlocks phones and authenticates payments.

The smaller chip will allow Apple to reduce the size of the “notch”, that features at the top of the iPhone’s screen, which is deemed to be unslightly by many.

Each chip requires a smaller amount of the “VCSEL” wafers, which are supplied by IQE.

The Welsh company said revenues in the photonics division that includes the wafers fell by 7.6pc as it posted a 2.5pc decrease in half-year revenues to £79.5m. However, pre-tax losses halved to £3m, and this was put down largely to lower costs.

IQE’s founder Drew Nelson, who recently stepped down as chief executive said the company had developed a next generation of wafer that would allow future smartphones to effectively eliminate the notch.

Like most of Apple’s suppliers, IQE is barred from confirming its work with the iPhone maker by strict non-disclosure agreements.

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