Apple's 5.44" phablet orders pegged at only 10 million, due to the $280 sapphire display yield

Apple's 5.44
That elusive Apple phablet with a 5"+ display is likely to stay elusive for quite some time, if the latest rumors from China are to be believed. It's been rumored numerous times already that besides the 4.7" iPhone 6, Apple is in the endgame of outing a phablet with a 5.5" display. The current speculation pegs the screen size at exactly 5.44 inches, but says that Apple is still going for a display made of sapphire crystal with it. This material is extremely light and durable, and Apple recently acquired enough furnaces to produce 200 million of those tough panels

The problem is with yield and cost, though. It's one thing to use sapphire for the camera lens, and the home button on an iPhone, and another to make the whole screen of the iPhone 6 out of the crystal, for example. When we add the alleged Apple phablet in the mix, with its even larger panel, yield and cost might become prohibitive for the usual gross margin that the company commands. Therefore, the publication says, Apple is planning to produce just 10 million of those 5.5" phablets over the lifetime of the undertaking. A single sapphire screen of this magnitude, they argue, is slated to cost the whopping $280, more than the cost of the whole current iPhone itself. Thus, Apple has to charge a premium to maintain margins, and the sales of the phablet aren't projected to amount to more than 10 million. 

There are already issues with the yield of these panels, it seems, so the 5.5" phone is unlikely to be introduced with the 4.7" mainstream iPhone 6, but might enter the fray early next year instead, if we believe another rumor. In any case, it looks like things in iOS land are starting to get big, literally, and the whole one-handed operation paradigm of Steve Jobs that led to the original iPhone, is soon going to be thrown out of the window. We probably have the proliferation of Android handsets to thank for that, as those have long crossed the 6" mark even.

source: MCA via G4Games

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58 Comments

1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

64 GB version gonna cost 1400€

6. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Remeber how much 128gb Macbook Air costs... No, won't be over 1k. They are even most likely going after customers who buy Note series. But definitely it's gonna be expensive.

7. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Will still be more than 929€.

9. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Well, I can see €999 for 64gb possible. Whatever brand, OS, specs, IMO that's WAYYYYY too much for a smartphone.

10. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Yup. When people realize they could get a OnePlus One and a decent Ultrabook or high end tablet, they will go crazy.

33. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

No they won't, you keep thinking the market for iPhones consists of sane, logical people who think at margin. Well the market for iPhones is anything but that, and so no one will go crazy. The tech press will wag its tail and eat it right up. The fanboys will spin history and spin reality, or whatever needs it, to fit their mindset and justify their zealotry. The industry will once again take a step back trying to emulate a company that is long past its prime but makes more money than them because they have religious cultists buying their stuff without question for 5 times the cost. This is just how tech will progress until someone comes up with the next revolution.

40. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

"5 times the cost"? Tell me, Mr. "Definitely Not An Overzealous Android Cultist," what phone is on par with the iPhone at half the cost, let alone 20% of that cost? Maybe there is an MBA or MBP competitor that is half the cost, let alone 20% of the cost, of either machine? It seems to me as if the primary metrics in your purchasing decisions number two: Is it cheap, and does it run Android? Seems like a dark world to live in, to me, where choice is only afforded to those who live in your G-Cave. Would you like me to grab you some ice? It seems your Kool-Aid has gotten warm.

42. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

Iphone has had weaker specs all around than Samsung/LG/Sony Phone of the same year for last 5 years at least and it cost more with no upgradable SD Card. Some guy wanted to marry his Mac Computer, iCult are freaks of nature.

19. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

na it would be higher than that price tag.

2. dontneedtoknow

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

I have a feeling it will be atleast 299 on contract for 16 GB. I hope it's just not stretched iPhone and also hope sapphire screen will be as good as it sounds like

34. SirHamm

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

$399*

3. Antimio

Posts: 313; Member since: Nov 11, 2013

"Thus, Apple has to charge a premium to maintain margins" As usual... Mother of expensive!

4. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Lmao throw Steve job out the window

5. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Wonder how much it cost Sony for there Dragon trail glass...

35. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Dragon trail is cheaper than gorilla glass I guess.!

50. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Dragon trail is better than gorilla

8. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

I remember hearing that Apple might use a thin sapphire coating instead of full on sapphire for this reason. With Apple's profit margins I doubt they could even get hardcore Apple fans to buy this thing when a single component costs that much. And when the new iPads come around? Oh boy.

43. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

iCreditCard iBankruptcy iObey. Apple fans are a cult they will do whatever it takes to come to their corporate overlord's defense.

51. dontneedtoknow

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Actually most apple user I talk to are sane. I think you live in some crazy world!

11. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

A apple phablet, could kill off the note series.. Now a days, non one cares about a stylus..

12. Amw86

Posts: 44; Member since: Oct 14, 2013

Thank you Lord, I don't know how any of us would form opinions without you.

15. Sauce unregistered

without the Lord?

13. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

LOLOL. This will just add some more icons :)

16. Sauce unregistered

LOLOL and billions more dollars into the hands of the richest most profitable most wealthiest tech, or should I say smartphone company, in the world :)

25. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

So? You want to give your money to them just to get more icons?

26. The13thKing

Posts: 849; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

apple, microsoft and facebook are creepy companies followed by sh-eee-p, I just love how Samsung is eating them up. :)

39. Sauce unregistered

Funny, because what it really comes down to is WHY the "sh-eee-p" don't leave their farm. Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook must be doing something right. As for Samsung, or the herding dog, they always get replaced when they can't get the sheep to budge.

44. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

At least Microsoft doesn't have an obsession of keeping other hardware makers from touching their OS like Apple does. But yeap Linux/Opensource FTW.

20. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

How can it? The NOTE Series is far less expensive if they make a iphablet it will be the most over price phone ever.

23. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

True that, as mentioned in the article

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