Rising sapphire display cost may limit 5.5-inch iPhone 6 production, source claims

“The majority of leaks and rumors concerning the iPhone 6 suggest that Apple will produce not one, but two models – each one boasting a different display in terms of dimensions,” Mihai Matei reports for G 4 Games. “There’s the 4.7 inch iPhone 6, and rumors have indicated that Apple is also working on a ‘phablet,’ boasting a 5.5 inch panel.”

“The latest rumors now suggest that the larger iPhone 6 will in fact pack a 5.44 inch display, and that, due to the high production costs, the smartphone might be produced in smaller quantities,” Matei reports. “According to the Chinese media, citing supply chain sources, Apple will produce only 10 million 5.44-inch iPhone 6 units throughout the product’s life-cycle. This is due to the fact that Apple is reportedly planning on using sapphire glass in the production of the ‘iPhablet,’ and production costs prove to be a problem.”

Matei reports, “Not too long ago, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who has a pretty accurate track record when it comes to guessing Apple’s plans), has suggested that only the more expensive, 64 GB 5.44/5.5-inch iPhone 6 could be getting the sapphire glass treatment.”

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. That doesn’t sound quite right. By AAPL investing in their own sapphire production facility, based in Arizona, it seems like they are controlling and preventing bottlenecks of sapphire supply. Unless the secondary milling and fabrication of the finished pieces here of overseas is also a limiting factor.

    1. You are right.
      It’s total B S.
      There was a “research” article on Digitimes about a month ago stating that the volume of sapphire produced for the coming year was going to be FLAT. No increase in the amount of sapphire created by the market. WHAT the HELL do they think GTAT is doing?? Twiddling their thumbs???

      This “story” (from the realm of fairytales apparently) is based on have to go to the current market and purchase sapphire.

      Not what Apple is doing, is it. 😛

    2. What a bunch of malarkey. If Apple has demand for 15 million 5.5″ iPhone 6s, it will make 15 million. It’s not going to limit production based on the availability of the screen material. If that is a problem, then Apple will simply not use sapphire glass and will produce more iPhones to sell.

      I don’t see a 5.5″ iPhone anyway. It’s just too big. I rarely see anyone with anything approaching that size (I think I’ve seen 2).

  2. This is probably where the wheat gets separated from the chaff. I mean, right now everyone gets the same phone (other than capacity). Since I have been getting the largest iPhone they make, since the iPhone 3, I probably will only get the next 64GB, standard feature model at 4.7″, all depending on cost/performance…

    The 5.5″ sapphire is for the ultra luxury.

      1. In my case we already have the mini. :-). But I see what you mean. I envision the iPhone 6 going into my pocket, so I am not sure I want something 5.5 inches long showing through my pant leg. However the 5s barely registers, another .7 inches probably is okay. I hope it’s not going to be much wider if at all. I want to use it one handed and if my thumb can reach around, up and down the far side, without straining, that’s a good thing. If I have to use two hands to do simple tasks, then it’s a failure.

        What am I saying? I don’t like the sound of this.

        Seriously it has to fit in my jeans front pocket. .

  3. 64Gb iPhone 6? I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a capacity bump to 128Gb, partly because full design upgrades are usually accompanied by a capacity bump, but also improvements in camera tech for both still and video mean more space is needed.
    Regarding the whole sapphire shortage, I think this is bogus, as Apple now have full control of the supply chain.

    1. I disagree. Apple hasn’t bumped storage capacity for awhile, and there’s really not much need for more than 64GB when media can be downloaded using iTunes Match (unless you have a Windows Phone, in which case you probably need 256GB).

  4. It may be that the larger screen model won’t be seen as the flagship model and as such it may be that the sapphire screen is like Touch ID in that it’s not on every model to start with.

  5. There is no real source for any real information…rumor only.
    Apple knows the cost of making any size sapphire screen before they got into it.
    Notice the article pumping up the 5.5 display, so the bottom will drop out when there is no 5.5, but instead a 5.1 display.
    Play on headlines article…Appleinsider chooses their articles more wisely.

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