Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion plant rumored to produce iPhone sapphire screens

Its deal with GT Advanced Technology — which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to ramp up sapphire production in time for the iPhone 6 launch — has collapsed but Apple isn’t giving up on the precious gemstone entirely yet.

Whatever the decision was to keep sapphire displays from the newest iPhones, or if there was ever even a decision to be made in that regard in the first place, is still being debated to this day. But that’s not stopping people from looking ahead anyway. According to a brand new report from China Economic Weekly, and surfaced by Focus Taiwan, sapphire glass is indeed going to be used for the next iPhone from Apple.

The report states that Foxconn Technology Group, one of the largest supply partners for Apple, is being tapped to build the displays for the next iPhone. The report states that Foxconn has already reached an agreement to build a new factory on a sizable piece of land, 300-acres, in fact, which happens to be right across the way from an iPhone 6 assembly plant within the Zhenghzhou city limits.
“The China Economic Weekly reported Tuesday that Foxconn has signed an agreement with the Zhengzhou city government in Henan Province, central China, to set up a display factory on a 133-hectare plot of land next to an iPhone 6 assembly plant.
The new factory is expected to manufacture sapphire displays for the next generation of the Apple devices, the report said.“
Sapphire, whose hardness is second only to diamond, is expensive and difficult to produce synthetically. The GT-operated facility in Mesa, Arizona would have been responsible for more than half the world’s sapphire output had it gone operational.

Apple currently uses sapphire protection for the Touch ID Home button and the iSight camera lens. The upcoming wristwatch, both the “Watch” and “Edition” versions, also taps the scratch-proof sapphire glass screen.

[Focus Taiwan via GforGames]

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