Apple’s adoption of sapphire may not have much impact on Corning

“In November 2013, Apple announced a $578 million deal with GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) wherein GTAT would supply sapphire substrate, or sapphire glass, to Apple,” Trefis Team writes for Forbes.

“Since then there has been speculation over the application of sapphire glass in iPhone and iWatch. When this news went public, Corning’s stock fell around $0.70 because of the possible implications it would have on Corning’s Gorilla Glass, Apple’s current choice of protective cover glass on the iPhone,” Trefis writes. “The deal meant that Apple might be looking at replacing Gorilla Glass with GTAT’s sapphire glass, leading to a decline in sales for Corning.”

Trefis writes, “Neither Apple nor Corning has confirmed whether Apple will replace Gorilla glass with sapphire in its iPhone. However, we believe that even if this did happen, Corning does have other options from where it may recover the lost sales.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I don’t think there’s any way Apple has the plant up and running and producing the volume necessary for the iPhone 6 in time to supply assembly lines for the phone. Apple wouldn’t risk that kind of delay.

    More likely the plant is for the iWatch, likely for a fall/winter release.

      1. I think I would agree, seems a big risk to jump into mass production for a product like the iPhone, much more likely to use it on an iWatch (and other uses) first and move on from there once proved in practice what it promises theoretically and in testing.

    1. The Arizona plant has way too much production capacity for the rumored Apple iWatch. Unless Apple is going into the wholesale sapphire substrate business, the company has bigger plans for sapphire than just an iWatch.

  2. Many believe that sapphire will be used as the scratch-proof top surface of a laminate. Gorilla Glass is likely to be the lower layer, so the effect on Corning will be proportional to the increase ( or decrease ) for next generation iPhone sales and of any other Apple products using that same laminate. It’s unlikely to be bad news for Corning.

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