by Joe White
June 15, 2014
If a recent supply chain check is accurate, Apple (in partnership with GT Advanced Technologies) has amassed enough sapphire glass for its 4.7-inch iPhone 6, its 5.5-inch iPhone 6, and its long-anticipated iWatch product. The news comes from analyst Mark Margolis, writing for Seeking Alpha (via GforGames). In an article detailing GT Advanced Technologies' supply chain as of June 2014, he said:
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.This is reassuring news: though we'd indeed been told to expect bigger, sapphire-coated iPhones later this year, in a report published back in February concerns surrounding the material meant Cupertino could be reserving sapphire glass for its smart watch product only. This so-called "iWatch" is rumored to launch in late 2014 and should offer integration with iOS, health and fitness functionality, and an ultra-scratch resistant sapphire coating. Margolis's report, however, has us feeling confident we'll see sapphire glass protect Apple's next-generation iPhones as well as Cupertino's first foray into the wearable technology market. From an iPhone owner's perspective, having a sapphire-coated, scratch-resistant screen should be a big selling-point for the iPhone 6, and as such it makes sense for Apple to bring sapphire glass to its smartphone as soon as possible. Both iterations of the iPhone 6 are expected to launch this fall. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.