No More Gorilla Glass – Apple has Plenty of Sapphire to Manufacture iPhone 6 Variants and iWatch!

Rafia Shaikh

One of the few very consistent bits about upcoming iPhone 6 has been the usage of Sapphire Glass instead of Gorilla. While the rumors keep changing about which one of the iPhone 6 variants will be coated with Sapphire, it is almost sure that Apple has something cooking with Sapphire considering the recent patent certification and a plant opening.

Earlier, reports indicated that Apple does not have enough Sapphire and thus only the 5.5" model will be manufactured using this glass. Reports also suggested that using Sapphire is costing Cupertino giant a good $100 extra per piece - which is huge. The latest reports confirm the earlier suspicion of Apple going full-on with sapphire glass. This comes from an analyst who has suggested that Apple apparently has enough of Sapphire glass to manufacture BOTH its iPhone 6 variants (4.7-inch and the 5.5-inch) and its rumored iWatch.Sapphire Glass

Sapphire glass supply chain analysis:

This analysis has been done by Seeking Alpha analyst Matt Margolis who has based his report on latest supply chain check at Apple's sapphire glass partner GT Advanced.

"As a result of my most recent supply chain check I believe that the Mesa sapphire operations will have ample supply to cover the iWatch, the 4.7″ iPhone and the 5.5″ iPhone with full sapphire cover glass in 2014. Additionally, the maximum sapphire screen capacity of the Mesa facility is likely to exceed 200m annual units. My most recent supply chain check confirms that GT's sapphire business with Apple is likely to approach or exceed $2B annually or $2.00 earnings per share using an estimated ASP of $10 per unit.

Considering its strength and durability, Sapphire glass helps Apple coat the camera and Touch ID of the current gen iPhone 5s. Manufacturing iPhone completely coated with Sapphire will help the company create a more durable and lighter smartphone, which will be highly needed if Apple is to launch a larger, 5.5" variant.

Last month, reports suggested that Apple was considering to manufacture only 10 million units of the limited 5.5" iPhone 6 variant with Sapphire glass. Apple is estimated to manufacture some 200 million units of iPhone 6, which is also confirmed in the latest supply chain check done by Margolis.

Source: Seeking Alpha (via MacRumors)

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