Apple Just ‘Snapped Up’ A Whole Lot Of Sapphire Displays [Rumor]

sapphire

During an Ubuntu Town Hall Hangout on Wednesday, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth made some interesting comments regarding Apple’s sapphire displays.

“Apple just snapped up three year’s worth of the supply of sapphire screens from the company that we had engaged to make the screens for the [Ubuntu] Edge [smartphone],” he said.

For those unfamiliar with it, the Ubuntu Edge was a proposed “high concept” smartphone announced by Canonical on 22 July 2013. Canonical was seeking to crowdfund a production run of 40,000 units through Indiegogo, but the project was scrapped when fundraising was able to only raise $12,809,906 out of the $32 million goal needed to kickstart the project.

During the chat Shuttleworth notes that,

“Isn’t it interesting that how many of the things we said the future needed to include are showing up on other people’s roadmaps? … Apple has also started describing their latest-generation mobile CPUs as desktop-class. That’s another thing we said you needed to have in the Edge was a desktop-class CPU. And we’re starting to see the roadmaps for the devices from Samsung and others that have the same amount of RAM that we were proposing to put in the Edge.”

As planned, the Edge was supposed to include 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, both Ubuntu and Android operating systems (dual boot), and a 4.5-inch sapphire display.

Sapphire has been reported as the possible screen material for the iPhone 6, although other reports have stated that Apple will use sapphire glass instead for its much-anticipated iWatch.

Apple announced late in 2013 that it was planning to open a sapphire glass manufacturing facility in Arizona — employing 700 people, which would be capable of churning out between 100 million and 200 million iPhone displays each year. Yesterday, Cult of Mac ran an Q&A article describing some of the unique selling points of sapphire crystal.

  • lowtolerance

    This is classic Apple under Tim Cook: Buy the entire supply chain out from under the competition, starving the rest of the industry out of being able to compete on that particular front for a considerable time frame, putting themselves way ahead of the game for a while and causing competitors to scramble to spend outrageous amounts of money in order to catch up.

    • EVula

      And yet analysts don’t understand that Apple’s cash horde is better kept for pulling stuff like this, rather than buying whatever random company they think is a good idea this week.

  • Chandler243

    Ubuntu, Not Ubunto

  • plaztik

    So now Apple and Samsung are following the road map of a company that
    couldn’t even get the crowd-funding to launch a hypothetical phone that
    will never see daylight, and that was only announced in July. Sure Mr.
    Shuttleworth, Apple and Samsung, are following YOUR road map. Because
    those are two companies that have roadmaps that span for a couple of months mostly. /s

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , |