Apple ties up long-term supply of sapphires

Apple ties up long-term supply of sapphires
Now that Apple is using sapphires for the camera lens on the Apple iPhone, and on the home button of the Apple iPhone 5s to protect the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the company needs to contract for a long term supply of the gemstone. To that end, Apple has inked a deal with GT Advanced Technologies that covers multiple years of sapphire supplies.

Under the term of the contract, the sapphire will be produced in an Apple plant in Mesa, Arizona. GT will purchase and operate the equipment for Apple and the latter will give GT a $578 million prepayment which will be repaid over 5 years starting in 2015. The new Apple facility in Mesa will create more than 700 jobs and will run on 100% renewable energy.

As part of the deal, GT will move to the fast-track its development of the next-gen large capacity furnace. This will produce high volumes of sapphire material at a low cost. Where will all that material go? Besides the camera lens and the home button, there is speculation that  Apple will use sapphire for displays. Why not? After all, it is a very hard material with scratch-resistant properties.

source: AllThings D

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53 Comments

1. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

"Apple plant" But i thought...

6. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

"Apple ties up long-term supply of sapphires" If this doesn't help - Next time to support the APPL stock, the headlines will be: "Apple ties up long-term supply of diamonds" ROTFL

42. darkkjedii

Posts: 30900; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You're not actually (Rolling On The Floor Laughing).

2. rcl4444

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 06, 2012

Well done Apple! Not a fan but cred where cred is due.

7. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

Do you really buy this "sapphires" iBS? The "gold" iPhone5S was not enough for you???

28. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

If your smartphone came with a sapphire display as opposed to Gorilla Glass, would that make you happy? I know I would save over $30 by not buying the top of the line Zagg screen protector.

32. illusionmist

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2013

Hint: He's got no idea what sapphire's for. Or he's a troll.

38. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Sapphire can be shatter prone unless it has a good thickness to it. It may be scratch resistant and optically clear but it's strength leaves something to be desired unless if used in layers.

39. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I have a Luminox dive watch that utilizes sapphire crystal and in order for it to be tough it needed to be quite thick compared to the tough plastic on my Casio G-Shock dive watch. *I choose to wear my Luminox because of the natural lighting from the tritium tubes for when I go into dark areas or actually dive.

46. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

Do you know what iSapphire is?? Something like "gold iPhone5S". Happy to help.

31. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Sapphire gives the impression of the use of a natural stone. I'd bet it's a manufactured man-made stone they will use.

36. imMature

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Man-made sapphire, duh.. Natural sapphire is hard to get. Since they need to make it for smartphones, they need a LOT of of them. They never said it's natural.

43. troutsy

Posts: 381; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Right, this article and everything Phonearena posts about "Sapphire" is a huge misrepresentation of the actual material. "Apple purchased a plant for making aluminum oxide crystals" and putting a picture of sandpaper doesn't generate the same number of clicks as listing sapphire and putting a picture of a gemstone.

52. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Aluminum Oxide is that the same material that my Dremel uses?

49. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Technically, man-made saphire has the same property as those ones found in the nature, and every watch which uses saphire, uses a man-made stone

3. funchumm1206

Posts: 52; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

Just release a bigger iphone. A7 power in a 4inch screen is a bit cramped.

20. orca99

Posts: 87; Member since: Oct 05, 2013

iPhone zombies won't notice how cramped it is because they've never used a bigger screen.

21. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

You ever heard of an ipad? You should try it out sometime.☺️

24. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Especially the mini edition with Resolutionary display. Coming to an iToy store near you on November 30th.

29. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

That iToy comes with a 64-bit processor just like all the other android tablets ;-)

47. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

This 64-bit Samsung Exinos processor -A7, is useless for iToys.

4. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

But why sapphire? Isn't plastic cheaper, lighter, flexible and scratch-resistant too? Not bashing, just asking a genuine question.

5. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Plastic loses it clarity over the years & will appear polluted.

11. rahul.niks

Posts: 86; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

I don't think people use there phones for years nowadays, also i don't believe the fact that companies use such plastic which loses its clarity over years,,,

23. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Who uses plastic for a display? Most phones have gorilla glass. Is this considered some form of plastic?

35. WindowsiDroid

Posts: 138; Member since: Jul 22, 2013

Glass is also plastic and more premium but more vulnerable on damages.

40. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Depends, some lexan screens or watch faces can be sanded down back to clear smoothness. But then again we're talking about phones and not watch windows so plastic hardly applies here.

14. suneeboy

Posts: 201; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

Sapphire looks better, sounds better, and is better. iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C? Obviously the 5S. It's creating jobs in the US. Should be no gripe here.

16. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

How does the 5s create jobs in the US? I thought it was made in China? Motorola creates jobs in the US. And frankly I don't care where it's made, because I don't live in the US, and build quality can be good in any country.

30. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

The designers and engineers are in the US and get bug bucks for their work on the 5s. The Moto workers are just assemblers, putting kits together.

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