Apple isn’t just famous for its design and product line-up, but also because of its supply-chain business tactics. In the past you remember how hard it was for any OEM to secure flash storage, and other silicon chips from manufacturers. The company has enough cash to secure all the supplies it needs at very attractive prices, and with its new sapphire manufacturing facility in Arizona, it did just that as well.
Apple’s new sapphire manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona won’t just give it exclusive rights to build its own sapphire displays. The company has just procured 518 furnaces to build the sapphire crystal, and has another 420 of these machines in order as well. To give you an idea, this is enough to build 103-116 million sapphire displays in one year, if these were 5-inch displays. Obviously if Apple decides to make a smaller display, or build sapphire displays into the next iPads, this number would change dramatically.
We’re expecting to see Apple’s sapphire innovations in its next-generation iPhone, which should launch in the next couple of months. Let’s hope the company won’t face any additional shortages, as the ones we saw with the iPhone 5s.