Apple's new manufacturing deal with GT Advanced Technologies will boost production capacity allowing the company to produce enough sapphire material to make 5-inch sapphire screen covers for 33.79-50.56 million iPhones per year, reports DigiTimes.
US$578 million can be used to procure 1,930-2,890 sapphire growing furnaces for a monthly production of 5.28-7.90 million mm of 2-inch-equivalent sapphire ingots, Digitimes Research indicated. Such a volume of sapphire ingots could be used to make screen covers for 33.79-50.56 million 5-inch iPhones a year, accounting for 17.8-26.6% of the estimated 190 million iPhones to be shipped in 2014.
Despite this estimate, analysts feel it is more likely that Apple will use the sapphire crystal to cover the display of a wearable device such as the rumored iWatch.
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