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GT says plans to supply sapphire glass to Apple are 'progressing well,' company expects...

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Though GT Advanced Technologies Inc. did not reveal this week exactly when it will be supplying sapphire glass to Apple en masse, the company did issue a public statement revealing that its arrangement with the iPhone maker is "progressing well."



Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive of GT Advanced, was quoted in his company's quarterly earnings report on Monday as saying that build-out of the new facility in Arizona, which will supply sapphire glass to Apple for future products, began last quarter. GT Advanced also began to staff the operation last quarter, but unsurprisingly, Gutierrez declined to give a specific date as to when mass production will begin.

"We are pleased to have Apple as a sapphire customer and to be in a position to leverage our proprietary know-how to enable the supply of this versatile material," Gutierrez said. "While our primary focus during the balance of the year is to continue to execute on our commitments in Arizona, our aim is to position GT not only as an exceptional sapphire supplier to Apple but also as an unparalleled world-class supplier of sapphire material and equipment to a variety of customers."

The CEO also said that his company expects to return to profitability in the second half of 2014. Given the size of his company's contract with Apple, this has drawn some speculation that a new product, such as an iPhone with a sapphire glass display, could launch later this year, but no specific indication to that effect was given by GT Advanced.

The component supplier received its first in a series of prepayments from Apple last quarter, as part of a multi-year deal for sapphire glass worth $578 million.

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That arrangement between GT Advanced and Apple was announced last November, and the deal includes an Arizona factory that will create 700 jobs and employ 1,300 construction workers. Apple's investment is a prepayment that funds the accelerated development of GT Advanced's "next-generation, large capacity" Advanced Sapphire Furnace.

Apple already uses sapphire glass to protect its camera lenses and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor found beneath the home button on the iPhone 5s. The company relies on that material instead of Corning's Gorilla Glass for those specific purposes because of its superior scratch-resistance.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was asked about the new Mesa, Ariz., facility last month and confirmed it would be used to build sapphire crystal glass, but unsurprisingly declined to go any further when asked whether that glass could be used for a larger iPhone.

Just last week, Mark Shuttleworth, best known for being co-founder of Ubuntu developer Canonical, claimed that Apple scooped up the "entire three-year supply" of sapphire screens his company had originally planned to use in a now-scrapped smartphone, dubbed the Edge. Apple and GT Advanced are rumored to be capable of producing 100 million to 200 million 5-inch iPhone displays per year.
post #2 of 30

SameScam announces sapphire glass in 3...2...1...

 

 

I hate hate hate ScamScum.

post #3 of 30

To Samsung fans! suck it!!!!! 

 

 

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post #4 of 30
I'd laugh if we find out that Apple has an alternative use for all of this sapphire.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

SameScam announces sapphire glass in 3...2...1...

 

 

I hate hate hate ScamScum.

I guess Samsung users will never know the smooth feel of aluminium and diamond touch

 

 

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post #6 of 30
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'd laugh if we find out that Apple has an alternative use for all of this sapphire.

 

Laughing all the way to the bank!

post #7 of 30

Samsung teams with Corning for Gorilla Glass production.

 

Apple teams with GT for Sapphire production. 

 

This fall, the winner will be decided...

post #8 of 30

For 2014 it could very well mean they will supply sapphire to Apple for Touch ID sensors for new iPhones & iPads.

 

 Not necessarily displays in 2014.

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMember View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

 
SameScam announces sapphire glass in 3...2...1...

I hate hate hate ScamScum.
I guess Samsung users will never know the smooth feel of aluminium and diamond touch

The person you're replying to is a Samsung user (Galaxy S3 I believe). If even their own customers hate them, there's not much hope for them.
post #10 of 30

It should improve the resale value of iPhones if they still look good as new (unscratched) after a couple of years use.

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'd laugh if we find out that Apple has an alternative use for all of this sapphire.


Maybe they are planning on making sapphire sandwiches and offer them to the masses.

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The person you're replying to is a Samsung user (Galaxy S3 I believe). If even their own customers hate them, there's not much hope for them.

I believe you, i'm glad to hear that finally! now i can go on youtube and peacefully watch Apple videos 

 

Thanks!


Edited by iMember - 2/25/14 at 10:33am

 

 

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post #13 of 30
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Originally Posted by pmz View Post

For 2014 it could very well mean they will supply sapphire to Apple for Touch ID sensors for new iPhones & iPads.

 Not necessarily displays in 2014.

I personally think it makes more sense to first start in some sort of wearable than on the front-fact of a phone.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'd laugh if we find out that Apple has an alternative use for all of this sapphire.

 

Sapphire windshields in the new all-electric Apple iCars (after buying Tesla).   :P

post #15 of 30
Wasn't the rumor that they're using the sapphire for the rumored watch and not the rumored new iPhone screen? All these rumors, it makes no difference either way I suppose.
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post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'd laugh if we find out that Apple has an alternative use for all of this sapphire.

Well, clearly if they released a watch it'd have sapphire glass; nothing new in watches. But I believe the investment is too large for watch displays. It makes sense that this is for the iPhone 6. Death to screen protectors forever!!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by HealthNut View Post

Wasn't the rumor that they're using the sapphire for the rumored watch and not the rumored new iPhone screen?

Nope.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Nope.

I believe that rumour predates the used on the entire froth panel of a smartphone.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I believe that rumour predates the used on the entire froth panel of a smartphone.

There are several watches on the market which have that glass. It'd be nothing new. Half a billion is for more than watch glass.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 30
Cut it out. Both of you parodists.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'd laugh if we find out that Apple has an alternative use for all of this sapphire.
The entire spaceship campus is being clad in it.

censored

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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

There are several watches on the market which have that glass. It'd be nothing new. Half a billion is for more than watch glass.

1) Why does it have to be something new for Apple to use it? Or rather, do you think Apple isn't making a wearable or wouldn't use sapphire crystal simply because it's been done before?

2) Half a billion for what? The dollar value for investing in the plant? If don't think that a watch face is sufficient use for sapphire crystal then you can't possibly think the tiny home button is sufficient and yet that's where they started with their use of sapphire.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

For 2014 it could very well mean they will supply sapphire to Apple for Touch ID sensors for new iPhones & iPads.

 Not necessarily displays in 2014.

Apple is already using Sapphire in the touch ID WITHOUT any need for this factory, so Apple needs a boatload more Sapphire for some other use.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


Apple is already using Sapphire in the touch ID WITHOUT any need for this factory, so Apple needs a boatload more Sapphire for some other use.

 

If Apple had enough Sapphire they would have use it across the board on all devices, they didn't. After October 2014 every mobile device will have the fingerprint home button.

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

SameScam announces sapphire glass in 3...2...1...

 

 

I hate hate hate ScamScum.

 

Why would it irk you if Samsung chose to use Sapphire glass?

Would it bother you because they are 'copying' Apple?

 

Does it bother you that Apple is copying Vertu?

 

I don't think there's much worry, unless the cost comes down substantially I don't think Samsung will switch.

 

Curious as to Apple's motivation for the choice.  I'm hoping it has to do with them putting out a solar charging option on the phone (it wouldn't be the first phone to do this, but I'd applaud Apple for 'copying' that as well because I care more about the benefits of the technology than who is trying to hoard it).

post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

The entire spaceship campus is being clad in it.

 

Now that you mention it, I recall a story a few weeks ago about an Apple Store having one of it's huge glass panels shattered by a snow-blower. Perhaps the sapphire could be used for the store-fronts!  Make 'em less susceptible to breakage by snow-blowers, errant automobiles, thieves, etc.

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post
 

 

Now that you mention it, I recall a story a few weeks ago about an Apple Store having one of it's huge glass panels shattered by a snow-blower. Perhaps the sapphire could be used for the store-fronts!  Make 'em less susceptible to breakage by snow-blowers, errant automobiles, thieves, etc.

 

Now, if they put a new Apple Store in Cairo, Egypt, right down by the river there, and use the sapphire for the windows, it'd be a real Jewel of the Nile.

 

(ducking & running now)

post #28 of 30
Wait, what has sapphire glass... My watch. iWatch?

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #29 of 30
D
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

There are several watches on the market which have that glass. It'd be nothing new. Half a billion is for more than watch glass.
Depends on the sapphire quality. I would bet Apple intends to use top of the line.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


The entire spaceship campus is being clad in it.


That would be really funny.

The first unscratchable campus in the world!

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