A few months ago, Apple has partnered with GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) – a diversified tech company, which works on developing and producing cristal growth equipment that is faster and more cost-efficient – in order to establish a sapphire glass production facility
in Arizona. The deal goes by the name "Project Cascade" and both companies have invested in the upgrades. It looks like they plan to form a long-lasting relationship, as GTAT has recently uncovered its financial results for Q2 2014 and the tally comes to $86 million lost, due to the company limiting its shipments in preparation to align with Apple's orders. Still, GT says it's confident in the future of its sapphire glass business. The 1.4 million square foot Arizona facility is said to be nearly completed and initial manufacturing is about to begin, with volume manufacturing to soon follow.
Ever since the introduction of the iPhone 5
, Apple has been using the sapphire glass to protect the camera lens on their devices, as well as the fingerprint sensor on the 5s
. It is widely believed that the iPhone 6
is about to feature a screen made of the sturdy material
, though rumors about mass production issues
have suggested that it will either be replaced by a sapphire compound-treated glass, or that sapphire glass will only be reserved for the top-tier
(64 GB) model, while the lower ones would bear the well-known Corning Gorilla glass. It seems that Project Cascade may just prove these rumors wrong.
source: GT Advanced Technologies