Analyst: Apple Unlikely to Sell iPhones With Sapphire Displays This Year

Analyst: Apple Unlikely to Sell iPhones With Sapphire Displays This Year

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J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall has issued a note to investors predicting that Apple is unlikely to use sapphire in this year's iPhones due to prohibited costs associated with producing the material in large quantities.

Hall notes that GT Advanced Technologies has acquired Twin Creeks, a company that uses a wafering process called 'Hyperion' that could significantly reduce the cost of building a sapphire screen cover. Apple also has filed its own patents on sapphire laminates that could reduce costs.

In the report, received by AppleInsider, Hall estimated that producing the sapphire displays currently costs about 10 times more than using Corning's Gorilla Glass. The higher cost is because the Hyperion ion implantation process is apparently not ready for mass production.

While Hall said it's possible that Apple this year could produce a line of expensive high-end iPhone models with sapphire displays in limited quantities — something the Journal suggested Apple might do — the analyst doesn't expect that to be the case for 2014.

"Although we have channel indications that some sapphire devices will be produced, we actually lean toward Apple selling no sapphire phones this year," Hall wrote.

"On sapphire as a feature — we see it as a huge phone seller. The screens are reportedly unscratchable (except by diamond) and virtually indestructible. We believe most people will want sapphire when and if it ever becomes available."

Last week, the WSJ reported that Apple may use sapphire screens in the high-end models of its two new iPhone 6 smartphones, if it can get enough. Earlier this month, GT Advanced announced that it's 'commencing the transition to volume production' of sapphire for Apple, in their results for Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2014.

Notably, we've also seen leaked front covers alleged for the iPhone 6 that are much stronger than the ones available on current devices. Check out a video here.

We'll find out if any of the iPhone 6 models features sapphire on September 9th, the rumored date for Apple's event to unveil its next generation smartphone.

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Analyst: Apple Unlikely to Sell iPhones With Sapphire Displays This Year

atahtawi - August 18, 2014 at 4:56pm
It will be used in iPhone 6s, s stand for sapphire ;)
NoGoodNick - August 18, 2014 at 4:30pm
This news report was brought to you by the same people who tanked both the US and most of the world economies.
NoGoodNick - August 18, 2014 at 4:27pm
Somehow, I'd believe the Wall Street Journal over some low-level JP Morgan employee with no direct knowledge of what's happening and only a hunch that Apple wouldn't pay that much. But, as always, no one knows diddly until the 9th!
Winski - August 18, 2014 at 4:04pm
A tech analyst ?? I think not... Probably one that predicts hog futures in North Dakota.
iCareless - August 18, 2014 at 3:36pm
iClarified is such a piece of shit site now....bye felicia.
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