Digitimes Research: GTAT able to supply sapphire for over 30 million iPhone screen covers due to Apple funding
Jessie Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Friday 8 November 2013]
US-based crystal growth solution and equipment provider GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) has announced that Apple will pre-pay US$578 million to secure sapphire supply. GTAT will be able to use the funds to set up additional sapphire production capacity which will produce enough sapphire to make 5-inch screen covers for 33.79-50.56 million iPhones a year, Digitimes Research estimated.
US$578 million can be used to procure 1,930-2,890 sapphire growing furnaces for a monthly production of 5.28-7.90 million mm of 2-inch-equivalent sapphire ingots, Digitimes Research indicated. Such a volume of sapphire ingots could be used to make screen covers for 33.79-50.56 million 5-inch iPhones a year, accounting for 17.8-26.6% of the estimated 190 million iPhones to be shipped in 2014.