Apple considers offering two larger, higher-end, iPhones with sapphire displays at higher prices

“Apple Inc. created the blueprint for a smartphone when it covered the touch screen of its first iPhone in glass, instead of plastic,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Now, it is betting $700 million that sapphire, a harder and more expensive material, can replace glass and better protect future devices”

“The first sapphire display screens for the forthcoming larger iPhone and smartwatch are expected to roll off production lines this month at a Mesa, Ariz., facility that Apple opened with materials manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies Inc.,” Wakabayashi reports. “At full capacity, the plant will produce twice as much sapphire as the current output from the nearly 100 manufacturers world-wide, says Eric Virey, a senior analyst at French research firm Yole Développement.”

“Apple is considering using sapphire screens in more-expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall, if it can get enough of the material, people familiar with the matter say,” Wakabayashi reports. “Some analysts expect Apple to charge more for the phones than previous new models, because of increased component costs.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring ’em on!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Its the WSJ!… Blogging for hits and making you buy their mag for just a few lines of leader. So Sorry but that just smacks of desperate times.

    And yes sapphire is more expensive but the numbers I saw from earlier articles indicate that it would only run 6-7 $ once everything is up and running.

    These anal…yst and bloggers think that Apple will get cheap to save a few bucks cause that is how the world operates.. But they forgot that Apple just spent about 750 MILLION dollars to set this thing up. I have heard up to 1700 sapphire ovens in that facility. Over 1/2 of the worlds total supply of sapphire!!!

    This year will be interesting.

  2. Looks more and more like Sept 9 is the only sure day we will know. I get excited when I see these kind of headlines and then turns out just to be a guess. Oh well, I am in for a 4.7 even if they use isinglass. Name kind of fits Apple doesn’t it?

    1. Beer brewers use isinglass to clarify their beer, wonder if the new screen will allow us to see deeper into the world, unclouded by the byproducts of the websites/apps we visit???

  3. Unfortunately, if sapphire mass production is just kicking into gear, I don’t see how the new iPhones next month can possibly make use of it. Perhaps Apple was stockpiling it over the past year knowing they planned to use it this year, to cover the initial rush. I suspect it takes weeks, at least, to take raw sapphire, cut it into sufficiently thin slivers, then laminate it with Gorilla glass slivers, to create the production ready screen covers. Fingers crossed…

    1. Supposedly they’ve been slowly stockpiling for some time. GT’s books show quite a bit of deferred income, which would be how something like that would be accounted for, and so lends some support to that notion. We shall see.

  4. Oh WHOW! Daisuke Wakabayashi is announcing that Apple is “considering offering” some larger iPhones with Sapphire screens. . . “Considering.” Who knew? I’m shocked. Earthshaking news, that. I wonder when Daisuke think Apple might “consider” designing these new phones? Or when Apple might “consider” bring these to market? Since Apple is just now “thinking about” these new models, it probably will take them a long time, so Samsung, Lg, and HTC have nothing to worry about, because Apple might drop the whole idea, when they finish “considering” it. . .

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