As we’re sure most of you guys know by now, Apple has partnered up with GT Advanced Technologies to produce sapphire. We’re not sure what Apple plans to use sapphire for. Some have speculated it could be used for the new iPhone 6 display, while others believe it might be used for the rumored iWatch instead.
In any case it seems that the partnership between Apple and GT Advanced Technologies seems to be going pretty well, and in the company’s earnings announcement for the fourth quarter of 2013, they noted that it would be a “transformational” year for them, while putting their deal with Apple into perspective.
According to their announcement, “Our arrangement to supply sapphire materials to Apple is progressing well and we started to build out the facility in Arizona and staff the operation during the quarter. 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.”
The company notes that revenue will be low in the first half of 2014, but will see an increase in the second half which will account for 85% of the company’s full-year revenue of $600-$800 million. This is particularly interesting as the second half of the year is typically when Apple launches their next-gen iPhone, in this case, the iPhone 6.
As it stands, sapphire is used in the iPhones, mainly as a lens cover for its camera, although with the iPhone 5s, sapphire was used to protect the Touch ID sensor. What Apple plans to do with their supply of sapphire remains to be seen, but we can only assume something big will be happening in the later part of the year, whether it be the iPhone 6 or the rumored iWatch.