Rumor: Sapphire display seen as unlikely for 'iPhone 6' amid production woes

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2015
Sapphire display covers have yet to begin winding their way through Apple's supply chain thanks to poor yield rates for sapphire ingot and problems with the processing of the material, according to a new report, which suggests that Apple is unlikely to ship a sapphire-covered device in large quantities this year.



Downstream component makers would have had to begin shipping the sapphire display covers to Apple's assembly partners in June to meet the company's September deadline, market research firm TrendForce said, but those shipments have not yet appeared. This is likely to point to either a delayed or seriously constrained release for a sapphire-covered iPhone, the firm argues.

Further evidence that Apple has yet to ramp up production with sapphire components can be found in the still-falling prices of sapphire ingot, substrate, and patterned sapphire substrate, the firm said. Prices for those components are down as much as 10 percent quarter-over-quarter after demand failed to increase linearly with production capacity.

Additionally, the analysts are not convinced that Apple will choose the material for the so-called "iWatch." Complex shapes or flexible OLED display panels would make processing even more difficult, they said.

It is unclear whether these market assessments take Apple's new Arizona sapphire plant into account, or whether they look only at existing sapphire suppliers. Apple struck a $578 million deal with furnace maker GT Advanced Technologies to finance and jointly operate the Phoenix-area facility in exchange for exclusive access to its output.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Ah, the rumored rumor that has been rumored to be rumored is now rumored not to be rumored.

  • Reply 2 of 34
    bcgershbcgersh Posts: 12member
    I don't think Sapphire displays were ever in the mix for this generation of iPhones. All rumor.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Ah, the rumored rumor that has been rumored to be rumored is now rumored not to be rumored.


    So why are you here?

  • Reply 4 of 34
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Ah, the rumored rumor that has been rumored to be rumored is now rumored not to be rumored.
    Talk about a slow news day. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 5 of 34
    shogunshogun Posts: 361member
    I still say it's a lock for the iWatch and the iPhone 6S. "S" always stands for something. In the 6s it'll be sapphire. No way it'll be on the iPhone 6.

    My prediction for liquidmetal also remains the same: iWatch, and iPhone 7.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member

    Well, someone call in the four horsemen of the apocalypse and throw a large millstone in the sea. Apple is doomed... /s

  • Reply 7 of 34
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

    So why are you here?



    For filtered content that isn’t utter garbage, signifying nothing.

  • Reply 8 of 34
    Obviously the commenters haven't been paying attention. The Mezza sapphire plant has been operational since April. Where do they think all that glass is going? - on Scamsungs latest fiasco?
  • Reply 9 of 34
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,679member

    Okay another analysis with some guy he meet in the back alleys of Taiwan and China who claim to be in the know about what apple is or is not doing.

  • Reply 10 of 34
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,748member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AAPLfanboy View Post



    Where do they think all that glass is going?

     

    According to the article, a lot of it is winding up in the scrap bin, and what's left isn't enough to cover the number of iPhones they expect to sell.

  • Reply 11 of 34
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    It is unclear whether these market assessments take Apple's new Arizona sapphire plant into account, or whether they look only at existing sapphire suppliers.

     

    So, then, what good are "these market assessments"?

    Just because Brand X Sapphire Inc. isn't shipping iPhone front panels doesn't mean Apple won't be using sapphire.

    Because Apple has their own supplier.

     

    And, frankly, I don't care what the iPhone "6" front panels are made of, as long as they're Gorilla Glass or better.

    Never had any scratching problem.

  • Reply 12 of 34
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member

    Uh, does anyone here think that Apple would've worked with GT Advanced to iron out all possible issues before spending half a billion dollars to equip two enormous sapphire plants? Sorry, but there is absolutely no way they would've even considered moving to such a massive production scale without making sure everything was in working order.

  • Reply 13 of 34
    darklitedarklite Posts: 229member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

     

    Uh, does anyone here think that Apple would've worked with GT Advanced to iron out all possible issues before spending half a billion dollars to equip two enormous sapphire plants? Sorry, but there is absolutely no way they would've even considered moving to such a massive production scale without making sure everything was in working order.


    Sometimes you don't discover issues until relatively late in production. You only have to look at the trouble Intel's having with Broadwell to see that.

  • Reply 14 of 34
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    " sapphire ingot, substrate, and patterned sapphire substrate, the firm said. Prices for those components are down as much as 10 percent quarter-over-quarter after demand failed to increase linearly with production capacity."

     

    How does that link to Apple's own unique supplier, GT Advanced?

  • Reply 15 of 34
    They'll just keep making sapphire until they more sapphire than iPhones, and they're making it fast, and then it'll go on the phones, and it will be wonderful. No one will be able to copy it, and they'll sell as much as they can make for the next 3 or 4 years. That would be the sapphire for iPhone faceplate scenario. There are a couple other interesting scenarios for this half billion dollar investment, and they're interesting too, Dudes!
  • Reply 16 of 34
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    I see it just this simple:

    Gorilla Glass 3 has it's advantages and it's drawbacks.

    Sapphire has it's advantages and it's drawbacks.

     

    There are simply more drawbacks for sapphire, in this case, than there are for GG3.

    The new iPhones will have GG3 screen covers.

  • Reply 17 of 34
    bcgersh wrote: »
    I don't think Sapphire displays were ever in the mix for this generation of iPhones. All rumor.

    Maybe not. But I got a sapphire lens cover on my 2-year-old iPhone 5. The rest has been the rumor mill making promises for Apple to keep.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Corning just reported their earnings, and Gorilla Glass sales for last quarter were about flat and projected sales for next quarter are only up about 10%. If Apple is not going to use sapphire one might think that Corning would have received huge orders for Gorilla Glass for those tens of millions of iPhones Apple is expected to produce.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    aaplfanboy wrote: »
    Obviously the commenters haven't been paying attention. The Mezza sapphire plant has been operational since April. Where do they think all that glass is going? - on Scamsungs latest fiasco?

    But don't those sapphire ingots take something like 60-90 days to "grow" then process and cut! Difficult material to cut as well...
  • Reply 20 of 34
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    Apple has been using saphire for camera lens and touch ID for how long? Could they have learned something about using sapphire by early this year?

    Apple invested $578 million with GTAT specifically for saphire production beginning in early this year.

    Signs point to using sapphire.

    We will soon find out.
Sign In or Register to comment.