GT says plans to supply sapphire glass to Apple are 'progressing well,' company expects profitable 2

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 2014
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.

396


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.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30

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

     

     

    I hate hate hate ScamScum.

  • Reply 2 of 30

    To Samsung fans! suck it!!!!! 

  • Reply 3 of 30
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    I'd laugh if we find out that Apple has an alternative use for all of this sapphire.
  • Reply 4 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

  • Reply 5 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.

     

    Laughing all the way to the bank!

  • Reply 6 of 30
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,838member

    Samsung teams with Corning for Gorilla Glass production.

     

    Apple teams with GT for Sapphire production. 

     

    This fall, the winner will be decided...

  • Reply 7 of 30
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 30
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    imember wrote: »
    sudonym wrote: »
     
    SameScam announces sapphire glass [SIZE=16px]in 3...2...1...[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=16px]I hate hate hate ScamScum.[/SIZE]
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

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

  • Reply 10 of 30
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    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.

  • Reply 11 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!

  • Reply 12 of 30
    pmz wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 13 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

  • Reply 14 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.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    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!!
  • Reply 16 of 30
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    healthnut wrote: »
    Wasn't the rumor that they're using the sapphire for the rumored watch and not the rumored new iPhone screen?

    Nope.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    ireland wrote: »
    Nope.

    I believe that rumour predates the used on the entire froth panel of a smartphone.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    Cut it out. Both of you parodists.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,991member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.