Its deal with GT Advanced Technology — which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to ramp up sapphire production in time for the iPhone 6 launch — has collapsed but Apple isn’t giving up on the precious gemstone entirely yet.

A report Wednesday by Focus Taiwan alleged that Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion facility in central China will be churning out screens for Apple’s mobile devices that use synthetic sapphire crystals for increased durability and protection.

As Bloombereg reported last week, the Foxconn Technology Group, also known as the Hon Hai Group in Taiwan, has allocated NT$80 billion, or approximately $2.6 billion, toward a brand new plant over the course of the next two years.

The facility will be exclusively producing mobile screens for Apple, Foxconn’s biggest client, and employ more than two-thousand workers. It’s reportedly being built after “an urgent request for exclusive capacity” from Apple.

Now Focus Taiwan is casting additional light on the matter.

Apparently Foxconn has signed an agreement with the Zhengzhou city government in Henan Province, central China, to set up a display factory on a 133-hectare plot of land next to its iPhone 6 assembly plant.

“The new factory is expected to manufacture sapphire displays for the next generation of the Apple devices,” the report said. Shares of Taiwanese sapphire manufacturers went sharply up Wednesday morning following the report.

Meanwhile, the Cupertino firm continues to “cautiously evaluate” the adoption of the scratch-resistant screens to ensure that there are sufficient supplies.

Sapphire, whose hardness is second only to diamond, is expensive and difficult to produce synthetically. The GT-operated facility in Mesa, Arizona would have been responsible for more than half the world’s sapphire output had it gone operational.

Apple currently uses sapphire protection for the Touch ID Home button and the iSight camera lens. The upcoming wristwatch, both the “Watch” and “Edition” versions, also taps the scratch-proof sapphire glass screen.

[Focus Taiwan via GforGames]

  • revivalstore

    The screen they use on iPhone 6 is real bad quality.. Scratches way to easy.. Warnings to all that don’t put on screen protection

    • whodakat

      Quit reading blogs and take care of your very expensive purchase. My screen is as flawless as the day I took it out of the box.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        agreed. mine still look as sexy as the one shown in the keynote. my “bad quality” iPhone 4 screen still does not have a single scratch.

    • That ‘bad quality screen’ is the same gorilla glass on just about every other phone out there…

      • revivalstore

        I’m pretty sure it’s not..

      • Im sure you are wrong. It may seems like it breaks easily for you but there are a lot of factors. Most of the issues is user error. Bottom line, it is glass and it will break get over it.

      • revivalstore

        I’m over it

      • Its not more fragile. Period. You should use a screen protector no matter what device you have…

      • revivalstore

        Never had screen protection on any of my devices and there is a huge difference in durability in this case.. Maybe it’s my iPhone that has a bad batch.. What do I know.. I was very surprised and when I Google the problem I see many has notice the exact same..

      • Its because none of you are used to having a phone with curved glass around the edge. Before there was a slight plastic bezel that added some protection. It is the same glass if not more durable than in the past.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        And it has way more surface area too.

      • revivalstore

        Yeah whatever you say..

  • revivalstore

    Blogg,, ? Have been using it without screen protection an scratch after scratch appear.. Never been like that before with my iPhones…

  • Arturo Polanco

    iPhone 6s plus 😀

  • Fevostone

    Can anyone recommen a good case for my iPhone 6 plus please would like it to be ultra thin and matte for good grip.

  • singhay559

    Im still waiting for innovation apple

    • Bugs Bunnay

      they’ll start innovating again when their stocks drop. until then they’ll release incremental adjustments every year. think 1.6, 1.8 dual core and 750 mb, 1 gb of ram and so on.

    • They innovate every year, same as any other tech company out there. They do it so well you done even notice it.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    oh so very comical indeed.