or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple bought '3-year supply' of 4.5" sapphire displays, says Canonical CEO
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple bought '3-year supply' of 4.5" sapphire displays, says Canonical CEO

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
In a conference call on Wednesday, the co-founder of Ubuntu developer Canononical made a comment about Apple scooping up the "entire three-year supply" of sapphire screens the company planned to use in a now-scrapped smartphone.

396


Mark Shuttleworth let the tidbit about Apple's sapphire buying habits slip in a press teleconference regarding the firm's upcoming Ubuntu smartphone plans, reports GigaOm.

"Apple just snapped up the entire three-year supply of the same sapphire display we wanted for the Edge," Shuttleworth said. The Canonical co-founder was referencing the Ubuntu Edge, an Indiegogo project that sought funds to create the world's first smartphone running the Ubuntu operating system. Despite raising $12.8 million in the effort, the Edge was never built because funding failed to reach Canonical's $32 million goal.

Interestingly, the Ubuntu Edge called for a 4.5-inch display with proportions not in line with Apple's latest 16:9 aspect ratio iPhone designs. Shuttleworth did not disclose the exact number of displays purchased; a "three-year supply" of sapphire for an Ubuntu phone is likely a fraction of what Apple needs for a next-gen iPhone.

As for the likelihood of Apple's purported large-scale sapphire display buy, it's no secret that the iPhone maker is looking to expand use of the hard material in its products. Apple first deployed sapphire as a cover for the iPhone 5's rear-facing camera. When the iPhone 5s launched in 2013, the company announced the Touch ID fingerprint scanning security system, which features a cover glass made out of sapphire crystal.

Buying up existing stock of the material would be a logical next step in Apple's progression, but in November of 2013, the company inked a deal with sapphire maker GT Advanced Technology worth a reported $578 million. With a sapphire manufacturing plant being prepped in Mesa, Arizona, Apple and GT Advanced are rumored to be capable of producing 100 to 200 million 5-inch iPhone displays per year.

If Shuttleworth's comments are true, it can be speculated that Apple may be looking to use its own sapphire production yields for one unannounced product, while employing the purchased supply for a completely separate device. Alternatively, the buy could have been made before the GT Advanced partnership, in which case the company would have a huge sapphire surplus.

While it took Apple five generations to change the size of the iPhone's display from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, many speculate the company will once again bump screen real estate with the upcoming "iPhone 6." Rumors regarding the next-gen iPhone's exact display size are flying fast and wild, with the latest claiming Apple with launch two models later this year, one measuring 4.7 inches and another "phablet" version coming in at 5.6 inches on the diagonal.
post #2 of 36
Maybe 3 years worth of Ubuntu Edge phones.
More likely 3 weeks worth of iPhone 6's.
post #3 of 36
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
"Apple just snapped up the entire three-year supply of the same sapphire display we wanted for the Edge," Shuttleworth said.

 

Bro.  You snooze, you lose.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Maybe 3 years worth of Ubuntu Edge phones.

More likely 3 weeks worth of iPhone 6's.

Exactly... 3 weeks worth of iPhone 6's could be 8-10 million phones.

Apple's done this before... they frequently order parts in huge quantities.

Sapphire screens might be the "next big thing" in mobile... and Apple could be cornering the market on sapphire for the foreseeable future.

Pity any smaller companies who can't afford to place a billion dollar order for parts.
post #5 of 36
Riiiight. The supplier just told you that because they like violating Apple's Nondisclosure clause.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple bought '3-year supply' of 4.5" sapphire displays, says Canonical CEO

I hope this title doesn't' get contorted into a rumour that Apple is building a 4.5" iPhones. The Ubuntu phone was going to be a 4.5" display -and- use sapphire for the display but that in no way indicates what display (or rather front casing) size Apple could use it for.
Edited by SolipsismX - 2/19/14 at 10:59pm

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #7 of 36
So 4.5" 16:9 display fits perfectly in current iPhone 5/5s chassis with standard 720p resolution to make it 326dpi (retina display).
The question is: can Touch ID button fit in the bottom bezzel? If you look at the metal part in the back of iPhone 5/5s, it's measured exact 4.5" diagonal with 16:9 aspect ratio. Can someone photoshop to see if the bottom glass bezzel can accomodate the TouchID button?
I Want My iOS UI Like in Apple Watch"
Reply
I Want My iOS UI Like in Apple Watch"
Reply
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
 

 

Bro.  You snooze, you lose.

 

They didn't lose anything by Apple's purchase.  The Indiegogo project has long been scrapped as the goal was unrealistic.  The project broke Indiegogo records and was the largest crowdfunding campaign ever but still didn't come close to the amount the team wanted.  Personally I think they were more interested in the publicity then the actual phone due to thier overly ambitious goal.

"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
Reply
"Proof is irrelevant" - Solipsism
Reply
post #9 of 36
Just because Apple bought all the future opinion on 4.5" display, doesn't mean they are making a 4.5" phone.
You can cut 4" display from the same giant panel 4.5" cut from. It just require a 90 degree rotation, and it will be a 13% more than cutting into 4.5"
In other words: if the next iPhone is made in 4.5", they will made 1 millions less iPhone for every 8 millions 4.5" iPhone is made.
Tim Cook wasn't really worry about the color or balance: same giant panel = same quality, just bigger battery and brighter backlight.
He could be worried about how he can make up with the drop at production with a bigger screen
And unless he got few more display factories in his control, or the new iPhone mass production start at March, he can't.
P.S. That's also why some popular big screen phone has worse coloring: bigger panel=need more production time=lower quality to speed up the process
post #10 of 36

Not credible.

post #11 of 36
This article should be titled: "Useless company claims Apple bought all the parts they never were going to be able to, and they were dumb enough to tell someone about it."
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

The question is: can Touch ID button fit in the bottom bezzel? If you look at the metal part in the back of iPhone 5/5s, it's measured exact 4.5" diagonal with 16:9 aspect ratio.

This definitely seems more likely than 4.7" then.

I can't stop thinking this "phablet" (5.x") size will be for a cellular-connected iPod touch, more akin to the cellular iPad. With FaceTime audio and iMessage, never mind all other messaging and calling apps, it could be time for such a device. Differentiating the iPod into a "new" product category for Apple, whether or not it's called the "iPod", could be very lucrative for Apple. It could also fit the key demo that have historically bought the iPod for games, "media-consumption" and lack of a phone contract. The iWatch would replace the shuffle and perhaps even the nano, filling out the line.
post #13 of 36
So this looks like the right size to me... 4,5" can fit into iPhone 5 dimensions and it will doesn't make mess with resolution as 4,5 inch display at 326 ppi is exactly 720p.
I think it's the right choose as they can work on efficiency of the display instead of making insane resolutions and it would also put less stress on GPU...

So we will get an tiny, thin light iPhone 6 with bright 720p screen and killer GPU performance and huge, thicker than iPhone 5 and over 130 g android flagship with dim 1440p displays(that flushes the battery) and GPU performance that is lower than last year 1080p flagships !

Not many people will notice the difference between 720p and 1440p display, but everyone will notice difference in battery life, the form factor and GPU performance.
post #14 of 36
Canonical and Apple both badly wanted that sapphire, huh?

Does that mean it's now officially a conflict mineral?
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
post #15 of 36
". . . it's no secret that the iPhone maker is looking to expand use of the hardened material in its products. . . ."

AI Staff: Sapphire comes into the world already hardened because it's an aluminum oxide crystal. You can't make it harder. We don't say diamond is hardened, do we?
post #16 of 36
I think some people here need to let go "it" and consider that Apple was once where Canonical is now.
post #17 of 36
Eheh, that wouldn't surprise me if it were true.
Apple is truly the innovation leader. Not 'inyourface' innovation, but true, life changing, everlasting innovation.
post #18 of 36

Vertu phones have used sapphire for many years, small screens by today's standards and niche, high priced luxury phones.

 

hmmm, Android, I wonder if they are still owned by Nokia?

 

The thing is sapphire might be hard and scratch resistant but how brittle is it?

 

Maybe such a large screen will need to be a sandwich of flexible gorilla glass with a top layer of sapphire to try and get the best of both worlds.


Edited by hill60 - 2/20/14 at 3:57am
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #19 of 36
4.5 inch? For the new iPod Touch will be nice!
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

So 4.5" 16:9 display fits perfectly in current iPhone 5/5s chassis with standard 720p resolution to make it 326dpi (retina display).
The question is: can Touch ID button fit in the bottom bezzel? If you look at the metal part in the back of iPhone 5/5s, it's measured exact 4.5" diagonal with 16:9 aspect ratio. Can someone photoshop to see if the bottom glass bezzel can accomodate the TouchID button?

So long as the phone itself gets no bigger, do what you want with the screen size.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

Vertu phones have used sapphire for many years, small screens by today's standards and niche, high priced luxury phones.

 

hmmm, Android, I wonder if they are still owned by Nokia?

 

The thing is sapphire might be hard and scratch resistant but how brittle is it?

 

Maybe such a large screen will need to be a sandwich of flexible gorilla glass with a top layer of sapphire to try and get the best of both worlds.

 

I work with quite a bit of industrial sapphire to look into plasmas in vaccuum chambers.  The stuff we use is probably quite a bit thicker than what is planned for phones, but it is virtually indestructible.  I could throw it at the ground as hard as I can (much less accidentally drop it) and it is not going to scratch, crack, or show any signs of damage.

 

From that perspective I think sapphire is a great choice for a phone.  The only question to me is cost.  As I understand sapphire is around $30-$40 more per screen than the equivalent Gorilla glass.  Does Apple think they can get the cost down to equivalent?  If not, do they plan on raising the price of the iPhone or are they going to absorb it with lower margins?  There may be quite a bit of savings in not having customers return phones with broken screens- but doesn't Apple currently charge for those repairs and/or upgrade phones when users come in with a broken screen?

 

Other than cost, I think it is a great choice of material and will add to Apple's cache of 'Premiumness'

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
 

Not credible.

Sounds like a good way to shift the blame for not being able to produce your own product.

post #23 of 36
"Interestingly, the Ubuntu Edge called for a 4.5-inch display with proportions not in line with Apple's latest 16:9 aspect ratio iPhone designs."

How is that interesting? Buying a supply of Sapphire equivalent to three years worth of 4.5" displays (we still don't know the unit volume that represents) simply means you are buying a significant quantity of the world's current display panel quality sapphire production. It does not mean you are buying a volume of sapphire panels that already exist and have been cut to 4.5" with some specific aspect ratio (the conclusion the author apparently jumped to).
I don't care about what the ignorant masses perceive as truth. I'm concerned with the facts on the ground.
Reply
I don't care about what the ignorant masses perceive as truth. I'm concerned with the facts on the ground.
Reply
post #24 of 36
How is something that was never announced described as "now-scrapped?"
post #25 of 36
"The supplier just told you that because they like violating Apple's Nondisclosure clause."

Maybe, maybe not. It could just be that the supplier said to Canonical "Sorry, the proposed deal is off, the production has been sold" without identifying the buyer.

It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who would be paying large sacks of money for sapphire screens.
post #26 of 36

LOL...this guy...

 

"Oh yeah WE were going to use sapphire glass for our vaporware phone that no one would ever want, but Apple bought it all."

 

Yeah... my ass. Sapphire glass displays are expensive and can only be subsidized by a profitable handset and production line.

 

----

 

 

Regarding the worthwhile point in the article, Apple has likely bought enough Sapphire to build the iPhone 6, and is ramping up their factory for displays for the next decade.

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Maybe 3 years worth of Ubuntu Edge phones.
More likely 3 weeks worth of iPhone 6's.

As funny as this statement is, it may actually even be too generous. You know how many iPhone 6 they'll sell in the first 3 weeks? I don't Canonical could ever sell that many phones.

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

Maybe 3 years worth of Ubuntu Edge phones.
More likely 3 weeks worth of iPhone 6's.

Apple will make more test units than 3 years worth of Ubuntu Edge phones.

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

". . . it's no secret that the iPhone maker is looking to expand use of the hardened material in its products. . . ."

AI Staff: Sapphire comes into the world already hardened because it's an aluminum oxide crystal. You can't make it harder. We don't say diamond is hardened, do we?


New rumor: Apple to use diamond glass displays in iPhone 8.
post #30 of 36
Doesn't matter as Apple needs a new product line. iPhones w upgrades such as this make consumers and Wall Street go Meh
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
Reply
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
Reply
post #31 of 36
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post
Doesnt matter as Apple needs a new product line.

 

Yep.

post #32 of 36
APPL does not have to use the parts for a phone display.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

The thing is sapphire might be hard and scratch resistant but how brittle is it?

 

Maybe such a large screen will need to be a sandwich of flexible gorilla glass with a top layer of sapphire to try and get the best of both worlds.

Sapphire has a tensile strength of 260-300 MPa

 

Corning is careful not to publish the tensile strength of Gorilla Glass but it is thought to be around 800 MPa 

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I hope this title doesn't' get contorted into a rumour that Apple is building a 4.5" iPhones. The Ubuntu phone was going to be a 4.5" display -and- use sapphire for the display but that in no way indicates what display (or rather front casing) size Apple could use it for.
it likely means 4.5 inch, makes more since than 5.5 inch

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

So 4.5" 16:9 display fits perfectly in current iPhone 5/5s chassis with standard 720p resolution to make it 326dpi (retina display).
The question is: can Touch ID button fit in the bottom bezzel? If you look at the metal part in the back of iPhone 5/5s, it's measured exact 4.5" diagonal with 16:9 aspect ratio. Can someone photoshop to see if the bottom glass bezzel can accomodate the TouchID button?
I would guess yes, they would haft to move all the camera and sensors around at top however. What's to say slightly larger either
Quote:
Originally Posted by jusephe View Post

So this looks like the right size to me... 4,5" can fit into iPhone 5 dimensions and it will doesn't make mess with resolution as 4,5 inch display at 326 ppi is exactly 720p.
I think it's the right choose as they can work on efficiency of the display instead of making insane resolutions and it would also put less stress on GPU...

So we will get an tiny, thin light iPhone 6 with bright 720p screen and killer GPU performance and huge, thicker than iPhone 5 and over 130 g android flagship with dim 1440p displays(that flushes the battery) and GPU performance that is lower than last year 1080p flagships !

Not many people will notice the difference between 720p and 1440p display, but everyone will notice difference in battery life, the form factor and GPU performance.
Totaly these 6 inch 500 ppi screens kill gpu and battery, everyone complains how there android phone had little battery, and stuttering gpu but advertise the "great screen" at a 2k resolution yet sucks.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

it likely means 4.5 inch, makes more since than 5.5 inch.

The actual size of the display or the front panel has no barring on what Canonical would have used for their display or front panel size. This is a remark about Apple buying up the available sapphire and should in no way be read as Apple having bought precut 4.5" sapphire sheets that just happen to be sitting around in some warehouse waiting to be nought.


PS: Your writing has become much better over the last 1.5 years. 1wink.gif
Edited by SolipsismX - 2/20/14 at 3:07pm

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Doesn't matter as Apple needs a new product line. iPhones w upgrades such as this make consumers and Wall Street go Meh

Doesn't every company need a new product line?

At least Apple is profitable. There are many phone manufacturers who don't even have that.

So it would be doubly difficult for them: first become profitable... and then make a new product line.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • Apple bought '3-year supply' of 4.5" sapphire displays, says Canonical CEO
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple bought '3-year supply' of 4.5" sapphire displays, says Canonical CEO