By Jaime Rivera | February 11, 2014 2:21 PM
Even though we’ve heard of Apple’s significant investment in its Sapphire plant based in Mesa, Arizona, its still hard to predict what the company plans to do with all the supply its secured. We’ve heard rumors of Apple’s plans to fit the next-generation iPhone with Sapphire, but it seems that it won’t be the company’s first product to be fitted with the feature.
Taiwanese sources are hinting that building an iPhone with Sapphire is still too expensive for Apple at the moment, but not as expensive for the iWatch. We do know that Apple is already testing as many as 100 iPhone prototypes with this technology, but stronger rumors point to Apple fitting the iWatch with the technology first, as building 2-inch panels will be much more affordable than building 5-inch panels at the moment. According to Chinese media sources (which are citing “Taiwan supply chain insiders”):
“Apple has put a lot of effort into fitting the next iPhone with a sapphire screen. These sources claim that “beta” iPhone units (read: some of the prototypes Apple is currently testing) are already sporting sapphire protected panels, but unfortunately, chances are that they will not make it on the final product.
The problem is not necessarily due to low yield (which still is a problem, at least until Apple’s [Arizona] plant will be fully operational), but mainly because fitting a sapphire screen on the next iPhone would make its price skyrocket.
Fortunately though, the same sources also say that Apple will manage to fit sapphire screens on the rumored iWatch. The smartwatch is said to feature a 2 inch panel, and evidently, the production costs would be much lower.”
We’re expecting Apple to launch new product categories in the next coming months, with rumors of a possible March event, aside from the usual WWDC in June. We’re just not sure which event Apple might use to launch the iPhone 6 or iWatch.