Apple pours cash into Finisar, which makes facial recognition tech

Apple Awards $390 Million to FaceID Tech Company Finisar

Apple invests $390 million in US-made iPhone lasers

Investing in a company like Finisar makes sense for Apple, considering all the reported issues the company had surrounding the TrueDepth camera ahead of the iPhone X's release. These power numerous newer features Apple has introduced in the last few generations of iPhone, such as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods and the True-Depth camera on the iPhone X.

That's a move straight out of Tim Cook's playbook - see prior examples like cornering the market for flash memory, which helped the iPod and iPhone dominate over the past 15 years, and also helped Apple hit its insane profit margins.

"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", said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

Shares of Finisar leaped nearly 30% at the opening bell Wednesday. The company makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which are a key part of the Face ID system used in the iPhone X, as well as enabling Animoji. Apple has not said what company supplied the first round of lasers, but Lumentum Holdings Inc has seen a surge of business attributed to a single customer that analysts believe is Apple.

"This is one more example of Apple continuing to verticalize their supply chain by taking control of components that are hard to get or they think are critically important and that they can differentiate on", said Bob O'Donnell of Technalysis Research.

Apple just invested in a new, high-tech facility to be located in Sherman Texas and run by Finisar to the "iTunes" of $390 million (about £292m, AU$512m).

"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.

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

Apple's fund is created to assist the growth of US-based manufacturing, as it seeks to bring a little more production back to the States. That's an impressive investment in a critical supplier, following the $200 million that Apple awarded to Corning in May from the same fund. The new plant, which will create 500 jobs, is expected to open in the second half of next year.

The iPhone X had a lot of changes that iPhone loyalists had been asking for.

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