Apple is considering using sapphire screens in more-expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall, if it can get enough of the material, people familiar with the matter say. Some analysts expect Apple to charge more for the phones than previous new models, because of increased component costs.
The first sapphire display screens for the upcoming iPhone and rumored iWatch are expected to roll off production lines this month. Apple partnered with GT Advanced Technologies to produce sapphire at a facility in Mesa, Arizona. At full capacity the plant is said to produce double the sapphire as the current worldwide output of nearly 100 manufacturers.
"Nobody has ever invested this much money on sapphire," says Eric Virey, a senior analyst at Yole Développement. Notably, GT Advanced just announced that it's 'commencing the transition to volume production' of sapphire for Apple, in their results for Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2014.
We've already seen leaked front panels for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 that have performed impressively in torture tests; however, it does not appear that the panels are made from pure sapphire.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 on September 9th. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.