GT Advanced (furnaces, Pocketnow 001)

Apple announced last fall that it was opening up a new crystal sapphire production plant in Mesa, Arizona with partner GT Advanced Technologies. It’s believed that the company is using the facility to make sapphire display covers for the upcoming iPhone 6.

Adding weight to the theory is a new report claiming that GT shipped small quantities of sapphire from Arizona to one of Apple’s partners in China this month. The news comes as manufacturers are believed to be ramping up production on the next-gen iPhone…

Here’s the report from UBS Research via 9to5Mac:

Checks find GT’s Arizona factory likely stared 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.

So why sapphire? Well it’s extremely durable and virtually scratch-proof—making it the perfect candidate for mobile devices. Corning’s SVP Tony Tripeny called it ‘more expensive, heavier, and environmentally unfriendly’ in an interview last month. But he’s biased.

Again we still don’t know for sure what components the GT plant is producing, but the consensus is definitely iPhone screens. In February, it was reported that the Mesa site had procured enough equipment to make over 100 million 5-inch iPhone displays this year.

A few weeks ago, Reuters reported that Apple suppliers would begin production of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in May, and the larger 5.5-inch model a few months later due to manufacturing issues.

  • Jonathan

    Does anyone else think this is the real thing? I really hope so. This is my favorite leak of all.

    • édith Dupont

      It’s been proved that this is just concept , I liked too 🙁

      • Jonathan

        Where did you hear that? :/

      • Vijay Panjwani

        The verge, maybe. It proved that the smudges on the screen of this ‘leak’ were exactly the same as were on an iPad mini/air concept of martin hijack.

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        It’s marten hajek and not hijack, you dumb ass

      • onebyone_

        hey relax men, take it easy.

      • XboxOne

        …..

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Ye le bhosdi

      • Vijay Panjwani

        Who cares, is he your father?

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Tera to nahi hai, pooch apni maa se, and walk away with that, you son of bitch

      • édith Dupont

        Here in iDB and many other sites

    • Capirexz

      I hope this one is real.

    • Jeffrey

      hahah yeah its really beautifull, it is a proven fake though…

      • Jonathan

        Man…
        Nothing like keep hoping though lol.

      • Jeffrey

        hahah yeah true, it’s beautiful!

      • Jonathan

        Sure is!

      • Jeffrey

        BTW, can i still test ur theme?:)

      • Jonathan

        Sorry, I’m dealing with multiple people lol. Which theme did you want to test? xD

      • Jeffrey

        hahah all of em;)

      • Jonathan

        Alright. =D I replied to your email.

      • Jonathan
    • Antzboogie

      I hope the new iPhone 6 drops in July Please Apple!! Lol!!

  • Noah Mospan

    Finally, no more stupid screen protectors!

    • XboxOne

      I would still put one on just in case.

  • Vijay Panjwani

    I bet that these sapphire glasses/coatings are for the iWatch and not for the new iPhone.

    • Jeffrey

      both probably, i think this shipping is only for the iphone though

      • @dongiuj

        Why?

      • Jeffrey

        because i think the production of the iphone 6 will start earlier than that of the iWatch, and with earlier, i mean now. my guess is that the production of the iWatch will start around june

      • @dongiuj

        But, from reports, aren’t both due for release around the same time? Again this is reports. I know nothing about what is true or not therefore I don’t presume anything when it comes to these companies doing/not doing things.

      • Jeffrey

        yeah that’s true but i don’t think apple will ship different screens in one load… just because one of the screens will be made earlier