New reports suggest Apple might be in talks with Foxconn to mass produce sapphire panels exclusively for the Cupertino firm.
The prevailing chatter is that Foxconn will spend somewhere around $2.6 billion on a display factory in Taiwan, churning out sapphire displays by the million.
It’s likely then that there’s a pretty sweet deal in the works considering the substantial factory investment, and the move could see Foxconn further entrenched in Apple’s supply chain.
There’s also talk that the new factory might be in China, with the firm having reportedly signed a deal with the Zhengzhou city authorities for 133 hectares of land.
Unfortunately there’s a good chance we might not see the sapphire displays on the next iPhone. It’s going to take a while for Foxconn to actually build a factory, and that’s before it can even kick off a rigorous production schedule for the displays.
The most likely scenario is that the next phone will be a ‘6S’ style iteration, with sapphire displays actually debuting on the version after – the iPhone 7.
Of course this is all just mere speculation, and the talk of Foxconn-sired sapphire displays might not even come to fruition.
Previous plans for Apple to use sapphire in its iPhone line-up were reportedly dropped when its apparent supply source, GT Advanced, declared bankruptcy following its failure to meet the stringent requirements of an Apple supply contract.
Sapphire is an increasingly sought after display material thanks to its transparency, toughness, and flexibility. Unfortunately it’s tough to find in bulk and low yield rates mean Apple’s not managed to incorporate the tech just yet.
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