Apple’s iPhone 8 launch: 7 stocks to watch out for today

Apple Inc will unveil new iPhones today at its Apple Park ‘spaceship’ campus

When Apple Inc unveils new iPhones 8 on Tuesday at its Apple Park “spaceship” campus, there may be important clues for the watchers of seven semiconductor stocks.

Apple exerts a sun-like gravitational pull on the global electronics supply chain, affecting the pricing of commodities like flash memory chips – it consumes 18 percent of global supply. The iPhone maker can make or break small, specialty chip suppliers.

The final tally of semiconductor winners and losers will not be known until the devices ship and analysts rip them apart to examine the circuit boards. That will give insight into matters like the continued battle between Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc to supply so-called modem chips for mobile data.

ALSO READ: With a $1,000 price tag, Apple’s iPhone 8 crosses a threshold

Even the limited technical information Apple gives on stage tomorrow could shed light on how several other companies are faring. Here are seven stocks to watch during today’s launch.

LUMENTUM

Lumentum Holdings Inc makes what are instead known as vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs for short. These are a key component of 3D sensors that could power some of the expected features of the new flagship iPhone, such as the ability to unlock the phone through 3D facial recognition.

The company said it has received $200 million in orders for these lasers since April. Lumentum says it has multiple customers, but most analysts believe Apple is behind the surge in orders.

What is not clear, however, is whether the new facial recognition features will be available on only the flagship model, likely named the iPhone X, or whether it will also be available on the anticipated iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

FINISAR

Finisar Corp also makes 3D sensor lasers but specializes in a higher powered version of the technology with greater range. That sensor would be more suitable for the backside of an iPhone, to assist with features such as augmented reality, in which digital objects float over real objects on screen. (more)

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