It seems the plans for the iPhone 6 are gearing up day-by-day and it’s said that the upcoming iPhone 6 would be having a sapphire scratch resistant glass for its screen. According to UBS Research, GT Advanced Technologies, who is hired by Apple on contract to supply sapphire for its iPhone 6 display, has started shipping out sapphire screens to China.
Here is what the research shows:
“Checks find GT’s Arizona factory likely started producing sapphire last month. Our own checks found that for the first time GT shipped some small quantities of sapphire made in its Arizona fab to one of Apple’s partners in China who is in charge of making sapphire covers. Our checks find the amount of ingots it sold into China last month was only about 2,200kg which would be in line with our estimate of about 100 sapphire furnaces turned on and running (our checks find 100 furnaces were targeted for installation in 4Q13). We believe GT is still on schedule in Arizona, where we estimate GT was to install another 400-500 sapphire furnaces in 1Q14 and 900-1,000 in 2Q14. GT confirmed last week that it received a 3rd prepayment from Apple recently (we estimate the 4th and last prepayment will be made in May) which also gives us confidence that its Arizona sapphire factory for Apple is tracking on schedule.”
According to analyst Matt Margolis, a 2,200 kg of sapphire ingots could produce approximately 100,000 to 115,000 sapphire screens. GT is believed to be selling each such screen for $8.5 to $10 per unit. At this rate, it is going to be a win-win situation for both Apple and GT, as Apple will get the Sapphire glass at 25% less price than its previous supplier and GT contract with Apple will account to 80% of their total sales making it somewhere aroung $600-$800 million.
According to GT’s current in-house equipments, it is capable enough to produce 100 million iPhone displays a year.