The other day we reported that Apple would be building an advanced sapphire manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona, where GT Advanced Technologies would be responsible for the production. The move was partly due to Apple wanting to bring back some production from overseas and help provide locals with job opportunities, but at the same time we were wondering if this could hint at something more. Well it looks like GT Advanced Technologies might be hinting the same thing. During the company’s earnings call, GT Advanced Technologies stated that they expect that 80% of their revenue of $600 million to $800 million to come from sapphire alone, thanks to the partnership with Apple.
This is pretty significant considering that GT Advanced Technologies typically expects 11% of its sales to come from sapphire, suggesting that massive orders are going to be placed by Apple. It also hints that Apple is ramping up the production of sapphire, although we’re not sure if it is to simply meet the demand of the iPhone 5s where sapphire is used for the camera lens and cover for Touch ID, or if the Cupertino company has bigger plans, such as replacing Gorilla Glass with sapphire instead. It is also possible that sapphire could be used in the rumored iWatch which is pegged for a release in 2014.
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- 2014-02-28: Apple's Plans For Sapphire Will Be For A "Secret Project"