Taipei, Friday, May 27, 2016 10:38 (GMT+8)
scattered thunderstorms
Taipei
29°C
Apple-GTAT partnership to drive sapphire demand
Jessie Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Wednesday 6 November 2013]

GTAT has signed a multi-year sapphire materials agreement with Apple.

Possible impacts on the industry:

1. The fourth quarter is tradtionally the LED sector's low season, during which sapphire prices should come down. However, 2-inch sapphire pricing is expected to inch up during the fourth quaeter of this year to reach US$4-4.5, as the prospect of sapphire being used in portable devices looks good.

2. Applications include: smartphone, tablet home buttons, camera lens, and even covers for iWatch and smarphones.

3. Why GTAT? One of the reasons is the US government hopes companies can move their production back to the US and create job opportunities. Another reason: GTAT's ingot growing technology can produce sapphire for large-size screens.

4. To make sure Apple will use sapphire as covers for tis devices and not competiting technologies (such as Corning's Gorilla Glass), the contract signed between Apple and GTAT requires Apple pre-pay US$578 million for equipment purchase.

5. Digitimes Research believes the US$578 million, if it's going to be all spent on buying ingot growing furnaces, will be enough to buy 2,000 units, or even more. The furnaces are estimated at US$200,000 to US$300,000 per unit, rather than the usual market price of US$600,000 quoted by GTAT.

6. The number of furnances seems high. If GTAT's target is to produce large-size 200kg ingots, monthly output could reach 5 million mm of 2-inch equivalents (yield rates not taken into consideration).

7. But if the output is meant to mainly cater to Apple's 5-inch handset screens in 2015, with the phone shipments estimated at 250 million units, the sapphire ingot capacity will still be 50%b short of demand.

8. Impact on the supply chain: Apple usually has second sources for its component supply. That means, Apple may find sufficient sapphire supply from other suppliers.

9. Potential beneficiaries: Including furnace suppliers for GTAT, KY ingot growing technology providers, and South Korea-based STC, who uses VHGF technology.

Click here to see GTAT's annoucement of the deal.

Topics: Page 2

Realtime news
  • Digitimes Research: Top-5 Wintel notebook vendors see combined shipments down in April

    Before Going to Press | 12h 24min ago

  • Quanta Computer, Wiwynn to showcase OCP-compatible 19-inch rack servers at Computex Taipei 2016

    Before Going to Press | 12h 25min ago

  • Digitimes Research: HMDs trending to replace Cave for professional VR

    Before Going to Press | 12h 26min ago

  • Global, Taiwan 2016 shipments of notebooks, tablets to fall on year, says MIC

    Before Going to Press | 12h 29min ago

  • Taiwan market: Oppo to launch R9 Plus smartphone

    Before Going to Press | 12h 30min ago

  • Establishment of holding companies is new model of transforming Taiwan high-tech industries, says Acer founder

    Before Going to Press | 12h 31min ago

  • OLED unlikely to replace LCD, says GLT chairman

    Before Going to Press | 12h 33min ago

  • Xiaomi Technology offers drones

    Before Going to Press | 12h 36min ago

  • ASE, SPIL to jointly establish holding company

    Before Going to Press | 12h 38min ago

  • Global Unichip to deal out 2015 dividend of NT$3

    Before Going to Press | 12h 38min ago

  • Holtek 2016 revenues to rise 6%, says report

    Before Going to Press | May 26, 21:59

Pause
 | 
View more

Taiwan server shipment forecast and industry analysis, 2016

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Apr 1, 15:47

Strong demand from the cloud computing market helped Taiwan's server shipments grow 12.5% on year to break 10 million units in 2015, accounting for 90.7% of worldwide shipments and the percentage is expected to grow to 91.1% in 2016. This Digitimes Research Special...

China smartphone touch-panel industry 2016 forecast

CHINA SMARTPHONE | Feb 6, 17:23

In 2016, China's smartphone panel capacity is expected to increase steadily, with BOE and Tianma expanding 6G capacity and GVO and Truly Optoelectronics increasing their share of handset panel production. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the key...

Taiwan handsets – 1Q 2016

TAIWAN MOBILE DEVICE | May 26, 16:04

Taiwan's handset brand vendors and ODMs both saw sharp declines in their shipments in the first quarter of 2016. The brand vendors' shipments will improve in the second quarter due to launches of new models, but the ODM shipments will drop further.

China smartphone market and industry - 1Q 2016

CHINA SMARTPHONE | May 25, 17:39

Smartphone shipments to the China market in the first quarter of 2016 reached 104.7 million units

Taiwan large-size LCD panels – 1Q 2016

TAIWAN LCD PANEL | May 16, 14:02

Taiwan's large-size TFT LCD panel production in the first quarter of 2016 took a major hit as a strong earthquake damaged Innolux's fabs in southern Taiwan.

UMC
Trends and forecasts for the China FPD industry, 2014-2017
The transition to 4k TV - UHD TV market forecast, 2014-2017
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.