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Apple buys enough sapphire crystal furnaces to produce 200M large iPhone displays a year

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple orders hundreds of sapphire crystal furnaces that can churn out millions of iPhone panels per year

Apple orders hundreds of sapphire crystal furnaces that can churn out millions of iPhone panels per year

Analyst Matt Margolis has unearthed more details on the happenings at the sapphire crystal plant equipped by Apple in Arizona. The production company, GT Advanced, apparently has procured enough furnaces and tools to produce up to 200 million iPhone displays in the close to 5" realm.

If it sounds pretty serious, it's because that's quite the investment, and it hardly seems to be just for camera lenses and Touch ID covers - the parts Apple has so far used sapphire for. According to documents and other data from Margolis, GT Advanced has received 518 of the sapphire crystal tools and furnaces, with 420 more waiting assembly. Let's not forget also how Apple fronted GT Advanced close to $600 million to secure exclusivity on these machines, and their production capacity, just like it bought Foxconn customized machinery for the iPhone chassis before.

With the machines already installed, the Mesa, Arizona facility can have "between 103 million and 116 million ~5-inch displays per year" produced, claims the analyst. The additional gear that is waiting assembly can raise that output to around 200 million panels even, which would cover the potential iPhone 6 sales nicely. 

Couple that with the rumored 4.7-4.8" screen for the next iPhone, and we might indeed see the tough sapphire material used over the next iPhone's touchscreen.

source: 9to5Mac

34 Comments
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posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:04 7

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Sapphire glass, Gorilla glass, Dragontrail glass, blah, blah, blah...
I remember Nokia 3310 had a plastic screen "glass" and not a single F was given in those days. :D

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:08 1

4. tarun.parashar (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


well said bro

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:12 2

6. Ashoaib (Posts: 1212; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Good work but plz no patent troll... saphirre is not a property of anyone

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:27 1

12. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Here is how Sapphire glass is made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsCER0uwiWI

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:37 1

13. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


GT Advanced Technologies - Sapphire glass demo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ1WWRKKelY

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 11:32 1

23. troutsy (Posts: 240; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


And here is how Diamonds are made:

http://youtu.be/bWhtkkOYoxo

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 14:31 1

32. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Here is how idustrial diamonds are made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mWQUvxcANE

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:12

7. papss (unregistered)


Agreed but I effing hated my palm with its plastic screen. That screen was such a scratch magnet

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:19 2

9. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


True, true, I agree. But it was so cheap and easy to change. :)

I remember when I was opening a beer bottles with Nokia 3310, I'm not sure if in our days at least one smartphone could handle that, maybe only HTC One or some smartpones from Nokia Lumia series (ofcourse not without a scratches). :D

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:25 1

11. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Somewhere I have read that Sapphire glass is much more resistant for scratching in comparison with Gorilla glass or Dragontrail glass, but much easier shatters.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:49 1

16. shuaibhere (Posts: 1297; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Sapphire is the second hardest element in the world ...next to daimond...so it won't shatter easily....It will be real advantage for iP6 over competition...if it turns out to be true

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:54 2

18. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"Sapphire is the second hardest element in the world..."

Remember that it is industira Sapphire, not real! It is only chemically identical to the real Sapphire, so a lot of still depends on manufacturing technology.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:58

19. shuaibhere (Posts: 1297; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Oh..thanks for enlighten me......chemically identical means....it should be almost as hard as real sapphire imo...

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 11:30 2

22. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Sapphire glass is much easier to shatter than gorilla glass at the same thickness. There is a video out there of Sapphire and gorilla in the same size and thickness being tested. The Sapphire shattered at one third the pressure that gorilla did.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 11:40 3

24. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


http://www.corninggorillaglass.com/gorilla-channel/Corning%C2%AE-Gorilla%C2%AE-Glass-vs.-Sapphire

Here's the video. Actually, the gorilla glass didn't shatter, they stopped the video before it did. Sapphire shattered at 161lbs, gorilla was over 400lbs and still hadn't shattered when the video ended.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 14:30 1

31. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


So far I more like Dragontrail glass than Gorilla glass.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:04

2. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5047; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Awesome! Sapphire MADNESS!!!

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:05

3. bucky (Posts: 1291; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Looking forward to a larger screen! Please make it a 4.3-4.5 max! I hope the battery gets the needed bump for the screen size increase.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:10 1

5. Anshulonweb (Posts: 279; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Sh!t just got real...... Sapphire screen takes the game to whole new level..... samsung,sony,htc...etc all must step up thier game gorilla glass ain't gonna cut it anymore

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 11:44 1

26. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


How so? If Apple are using Sapphire for screens, they got much more scratch resistant, but also much more breakable.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:15

8. mrblah (Posts: 393; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


200M? I guess I better get one of each on launch day(s)!

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:22

10. Ikechukwu (Posts: 133; Member since: 03 Oct 2011)


Still glass. Can we get a transparent metal??? :))

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:41 1

14. imeubeu (Posts: 59; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


don't get too excited it does scratch an break...i would rather have lg self heal
l

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:49 1

17. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5458; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


In my opinion LG's self healing technology is not so good as LG would like us to believe.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 12:08

28. imeubeu (Posts: 59; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


that is probably true...but i like way they going in the tech industry

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 11:42 1

25. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Sapphire is much tougher to scratch than any other glass used in smartphones. Nearly impossible. But it is more shatter prone.

LG self heal isn't glass. It's not available for screens.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 12:05

27. imeubeu (Posts: 59; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


i hav jewelry made of sapphire...i can tell you it does scratch an crack

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 14:08 1

29. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I didn't claim Sapphire couldn't scratch or break. It's much more scratch resistant than any other glass used for touchscreens, but also more brittle.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 09:47

15. shuaibhere (Posts: 1297; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


If iP6 came with sapphire glass...then it will be real advantage over competition...

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 10:23 2

20. PBXtech (Posts: 966; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Not so sure. If you trash your phone on a regular basis, maybe. Personally, I don't use cases and I don't have dents or scratches on my phone. As much as they cost, people should be taking care of them.

But rest assured, this will definitely be the next marketing gimmick from Apple. They'll advertise this more than the fingerprint scanner on the 5S.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 10:46

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 10102; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Apple, you've got 3 on, the hitter is batting 312, and the count is full. Let's hit a salami.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 14:09 1

30. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


But they're down 83-15. (^_-)

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 21:19

33. janjhel1907 (Posts: 11; Member since: 21 Jun 2013)


WHY THEY DONT USE FIBER GLASS? used in most of basketball courts even hit by a ball it doesnt break nor scratched ahaha, ahahhaa,
you bet ^_^

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 00:45

34. Taters (Posts: 2584; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Is this even clear enough? When they were showing it at CES it honestly looked like s**t. Looked like it had the transparency of ugly clear plastic. Like the clear cell phone cases you can buy from ebay for 2 bucks.

It might be okay for a camera lens but it might look like a s**t screen

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