Recently, we've seen many rumors suggesting that the upcoming Apple products, iPhones, iPads or even the iWatch, could sport sapphire glass screens. And if we consider that Apple has set up an entire factory focused on the production of sapphire panels, then we can suppose that this rumor makes sense.
Now, according to fresh report coming out from MacRumors, Apple's facility in Mesa, Arizona is "commencing the transition to volume production". The information was made public when Apple's sapphire partner GT Advanced Technologies announced financial results for the second quarter of 2014. Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer of the company, said the following
"Results during the second quarter were in line with our guidance. We have continued to see strong interest in our suite of sapphire production tools, including our ASF equipment. In fact, the sapphire segment of our business accounted for over 75% of the revenue in the quarter, with the majority of it related to the sale of sapphire production equipment.
"The build-out of our Arizona facility, which has involved taking a 1.4 million square foot facility from a shell to a functional structure as well as the installation of sapphire growth and fabrication equipment, is nearly complete and we are commencing the transition to volume production"
GT Advanced Technologies is shutting down its sales of sapphire furnaces to other customers in order to devote all of those resources to setting up the Arizona facility for Apple. Apple has already used sapphire for the camera lens cover on several iOS devices and for the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s.
But by setting up a special facility, Apple is obviously looking to increase the sapphire usage for future products. Future iPhones and the elusive iWatch could get a sapphire screen, and it's less likely for the iPad to get because of the big size which would ramp up production costs.
However, as we told you in a recent piece, it could be used for the fingerprint scanner that has leaked in a couple of pictures.
Source: GT Advanced Technologies