iPhone 6 sapphire glass displays unlikely according to a new analyst report

Sapphire display covers have yet to begin winding their way through Apple's supply chain thanks to poor yield rates for sapphire ingot and problems with the processing of the material, according to a new report, which suggests that Apple is unlikely to ship a sapphire-covered device in large quantities this year.

A report from TenderForce say that Apple's next generation iPhone 6 is very unlikely to boast a sapphire glass display.

According to the report, downstream component makers would have started shipping sapphire glass display covers to assembly partners in June if Apple planned on meeting their September launch window. The report suggests that that hasn’t happened yet. This would suggest that Apple is being hit with delays, or will be, or that there will be a tightened release of an iPhone with sapphire glass.

Further evidence that Apple has yet to ramp up production with sapphire components can be found in the still-falling prices of sapphire ingot, substrate, and patterned sapphire substrate, the firm said. Prices for those components are down as much as 10 percent quarter-over-quarter after demand failed to increase linearly with production capacity.

If that’s not enough, the analysis suggests that any chance of an iWatch with sapphire glass, which has indeed been rumored in the past, is far less likely than even the iPhone 6 with sapphire glass.

It is unclear whether these market assessments take Apple's new Arizona sapphire plant into account, or whether they look only at existing sapphire suppliers. Apple struck a $578 million deal with furnace maker GT Advanced Technologies to finance and jointly operate the Phoenix-area facility in exchange for exclusive access to its output.

[via AppleInsider; TrendForce]


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