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Apple to begin sapphire production next month in Mesa?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple to begin sapphire production next month in Mesa?
Documents produced by the City of Mesa and Apple, related to sapphire production, were outed on Wednesday by analyst Matt Margolis. The paperwork was sent to U.S. Foreign Trade Zone Board executive secretary Andrew McGilvray, and brings into focus some of Apple's plans for sapphire production with partner GT Advanced in the Arizona based factory. The sapphire produced in the plant will be a sub-component of Apple devices that will be imported into the states. Seemingly, the process of adding the sapphire to the devices will be done in the U.S. and will make the device (whatever it is) the best product in its class.

The project with GT Advanced, dubbed Operation Cascade, involves GT operating equipment it purchased, inside Apple's facility in Mesa. Apple has pre-paid GT Advanced $578 million which will be repaid over 5 years, starting next year. Foxconn has allegedly produced 100 prototypes of the next-gen Apple iPhone using a sapphire glass cover, just to test the manufacturing process. As the second hardest material after diamonds, a sapphire glass display for the Apple iPhone would be more resistant to scratching and cracking than Corning's Gorilla Glass. The facility in Mesa is expected to begin operation next month.

"Project Cascade will conduct high-tech manufacturing of intermediate goods/components for consumer electronics. All finished components will be exported. This high-tech manufacturing process will create a critical new sub-component of Apple Products to be used in the manufacture of the consumer electronics that will be imported and then sold globally. By pulling this process into the U.S., Apple will be using cutting edge, new technology to enhance and improve the consumer products, making them best in class per product type."-Apple from FTZ filing

Apple currently uses the material as a lens cover on the Apple iPhone 5s, and to protect the fingerprint scanner on the TouchID embedded in the home button on the flagship model. Besides the possibility of Apple using more of the material on the next-gen iPhone, there is speculation that it will be used to produce the screen for the rumored Apple iWatch.
  



source: Scribd, 9to5Mac via AppleInsider

10 Comments
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posted on 30 Jan 2014, 01:28

1. Finalflash (Posts: 1765; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


It isn't for the phone, they can't make that much Sapphire glass and ship it to Foxconn and then ship it back to States cheaply. This is probably for the watch or to save money on the camera and touch id cover. Stop baiting the poor iPhone fans with more hope for actual product value, they're an easy bunch to excite. It'll only lead to disappointment and stupid excuses about how they didn't want it anyway and maybe next year BS.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 01:39

3. rihel_95 (Posts: 217; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)


I am sure that iPhone will use Sapphire glass instead of Gorilla glass, as hype around this glass is growing. Apple like being first.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 01:47 1

4. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5494; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Yeah, Apple like being first and they don't know they are the last. Time to catch up, Apple!

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 02:39 1

6. androiphone20 (Posts: 1451; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Yet again, someone who sees the world in black and white. Thanks for your input, I'm sure Apple will be looking into that.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 06:30 1

9. darkkjedii (Posts: 11452; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Xperias Ike 9 years old or something. He doesn't yet understand.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 01:48

5. Finalflash (Posts: 1765; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Not recently, but producing enough glass for about 150 million phones in a year and shipping it to their factories in China sounds retarded (the glass factories are in the states). That's way too much unless they want to finish assembly in the states which would also add costs that isn't what Apple is known for. Likely they will make the watches in the states and market it as made in the USA to over price them a bit.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 06:32

10. darkkjedii (Posts: 11452; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I'm glad apple hired you as their CEO, COO, CFC, and CFOOL. they're a lot better off now.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 06:29

8. darkkjedii (Posts: 11452; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Dude finalflash is the biggest iHater on this site. His life is to make negative predictions about apple, and hate on every article. Apple can do what the heck they want to. This is a big redesign year for them, and it seems they're on their game plan. All we can do us stay tuned.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 01:36 2

2. androiphone20 (Posts: 1451; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


"Apple iPhone would be more resistant
to scratching and cracking than
Corning's Gorilla Glass"
^ This, be it iphone display or smartwatch display I don't friggin care cuz anything that shows improvement is welcome

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 06:25

7. darkkjedii (Posts: 11452; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I wonder if all this supposed early production is for an early release, or building up stock for what's sure to be a huge selling device, if the screen size indeed increases. Seems apple is ramping up production early this year...stay tuned.

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