Apple has plans for sapphire, although what exactly those plans are remains to be seen. As it stands sapphire is used in the lens cover for the iPhone and also the cover for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor found in the iPhone 5s, but according to recent rumors, Apple could be thinking about incorporating sapphire into its displays as well. The recent push to open a sapphire plant in Arizona seems to support that theory and if you were hoping that Apple would use sapphire in a bigger way, such as in displays, you could be getting your wish.
This is thanks to recent documents that have been recently uncovered which suggests that the plant in Arizona will be used to build sapphire displays instead of components used for the lens cover and Touch ID cover. The documents reveal GT Advanced Technologies’ order of a machine that can inspect the quality of sapphire used in display-grade components, as opposed to smaller pieces of the material, and given the size of the machine, it will be able to inspect several slabs of sapphire crystal covers simultaneously. Of course it should be noted that the company has other partners and that the machine could be used for non-Apple related products as well.
The documents also revealed that GT Advanced Technologies have recently acquired several furnaces and chamber systems used to make said displays. At the moment only 518 such furnaces have been assembled, with an additional 420 on the way. In total and assuming maximum output, it is expected that they will be able to product 100-200 million sapphire displays in a year. Of course without Apple actually confirming any of this, it’s hard to say if the equipment is intended for Apple or for another partner, but what do you guys think? Would you love to see a stronger and more scratch resistant iPhone display in the future?