Two prominent suppliers for Apple are currently locked in a legal tussle over the innovative tetraprism lens technology used in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Taiwan’s Largan Precision, the exclusive producer of the iPhone’s periscope lens, is contending with Chinese company Yujingguang for rights related to this advanced optical technology.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max features a standout 5x telephoto lens, which employs a unique periscope design. This design, known as the tetraprism lens, utilizes four prisms instead of the traditional single prism, allowing for a compact assembly that fits neatly within the smartphone’s casing. This sophisticated mechanism enables the lens to bend light in a zig-zag pattern, thereby significantly reducing the assembly’s overall length.
At the heart of the dispute is the claim by Largan Precision that it holds patents either for the lens design or its manufacturing process. As Yujingguang aims to join Apple’s supply chain as a second producer of the tetraprism lens, potentially extending its use to the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro, Largan has initiated legal proceedings to block its entry.
The specifics of the patents in question are not fully detailed, but it’s speculated that Largan’s patents might cover either the unique design of the tetraprism lens or the specialized techniques used in its production. This legal action signifies Largan’s efforts to safeguard its position as a key supplier in Apple’s ecosystem, especially given Yujingguang’s reported role as a significant supplier of VR lenses for Apple’s Vision Pro.
This lawsuit underscores the competitive and often complex dynamics within Apple’s supply chain, highlighting the high stakes involved in the production of cutting-edge technology for one of the world’s most popular smartphones.