According to a new report, Apple is set to produce enough sapphire glass for the displays of both its expected iPhone 6 devices as well as its oft-rumored iWatch in 2014, according to analyst Matt Margolis for Seeking Alpha.
As a result of my most recent supply chain check I believe that the Mesa sapphire operations will have ample supply to cover the iWatch, the 4.7″ iPhone and the 5.5″ iPhone with full sapphire cover glass in 2014. Additionally, the maximum sapphire screen capacity of the Mesa facility is likely to exceed 200m annual units.
Margolis states that GT Advanced, the company responsible for producing sapphire glass for Apple in Mesa, AZ, has installed more than 2,500 sapphire glass furnaces and is expected to be working with sapphire boules weighing between 200 and 235kg. The Mesa plant is said to be waiting for its final prepayment from Apple in order to finish construction and secure equipment, which is expected to be received by the end of this month.
It was previously reported that Apple was gearing up for the production of 100 million sapphire display units at around 5-inches each based on the facilities at GT Advanced. This latest supply chain check by Margolis suggests that a much larger yield of 200 million units or more could be achieved, suggesting that Apple could use the glass for both its rumored 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 as well as a potential iWatch device.
Sapphire glass on iDevices could be a boon to many consumers as it provides increased strength and scratch resistance. We all know smartphone screens are prone to shattering if dropped and any improvements in this area would be welcomed with open arms. Adding scratch resistant glass to a smartwatch is also likely to be a good idea given that it will be exposed most of the time and therefore open to being accidentally damaged. I just hope that the cost of producing sapphire glass isn’t passed on to consumers.
I just want my iPhone to be this scratch proof!
What do you think about potential sapphire glass in your next iPhone? Would you like to see it in the iWatch too? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or grab me on Twitter: @TiP_AdamO.