Apple and GT Advanced Technologies have teamed up to do something with sapphire. Their partnership is not exactly a secret, but what exactly do they need the sapphire for is. Apparently it will be for a “secret project”, last we heard, although some are speculating that the sapphire could be used in the iPhone 6’s displays or the iWatch’s display, or even both!
That being said, a filing submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed that Apple and GT Advanced could be looking at opening up a second sapphire manufacturing facility in Salem, Massachusetts. GT Advanced already owns a 50,000 square foot compound in Salem but as it stands, GT Advanced’s facilities in Salem has been primarily used as a research lab.
What this seems to suggest is that there is a chance that Apple and GT Advanced could be looking to expand production of sapphire with this second facility, and that the current facility in Mesa, Arizona, might not be enough to keep up with Apple’s demand for sapphire, but we guess this is pretty much just speculation for now.
Apple currently uses some sapphire in its smartphones. The material is used as a lens cover for the iPhone’s camera and is also used to protect the Touch ID component on the front of the phone. We doubt that Apple will need that much sapphire just for these two features, so whatever they are working on certainly seems to be pretty huge.
Either way we guess we will just have to wait to see what Apple’s “secret project” is about. Both the iPhone 6 and the iWatch are expected to be released later this year, so perhaps a teardown of Apple’s devices will be able to clue us in.