All items tagged with "GT Advanced Technologies"

Why the iPhone 6 lacks a sapphire display

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web.

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web.

One of the biggest disappointments from Apple’s announcements yesterday was the lack of a sapphire screen for the iPhone 6. A seemingly-neverending string of part leaks and rumors indicated that 2014 would be the year the iPhone got a nearly indestructible sapphire display cover.

And while sapphire is used for the Apple Watch’s display, Apple made no mention of sapphire for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

What happened?

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Sapphire production for iPhone 6 won’t hit full speed until 2015

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The uncertainty about iPhone 6 availability this fall is largely centered around one component: sapphire. The ultra-durable material is rumored to be in not only two new iPhone models this fall, but the iWatch as well.

Apple’s only sapphire partner is GT Advanced Technologies with a relatively small operation in Arizona. According to another report, GTAT’s sapphire production, particularly for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, will he heavily constrained until 2015.

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iPhone 6 sapphire display might be limited to premium models

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The official iPhone 6 unveiling is less than four weeks away, but according a Wall Street Journal report, Apple is still debating whether it should limit its new Sapphire crystal displays to only the high-end models.

Production of Sapphire screens at Apple’s factory in Mesa is nearly up and running, and will produce twice as much sapphire as the current global output, but the company is still struggling to get enough material for the fall launch of the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s this fall and might only add it to the most expensive models.

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Secret machine could solve Apple’s sapphire glass woes

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Apple has been struggling to produce enough sapphire displays in time for the iPhone 6, but after going straight to the source of the freakishly indestructible glass – GT Advanced Technologies – MIT has learned of the company’s plans to use a giant machine that may solve all of Apple’s sapphire production problems, one slice of sapphire at a time.

The problem with sapphire glass is that while amazingly durable, it’s also ridiculously hard to produce in thin smartphone sized sheets. Apple’s current production methods involve taking a large chunk of sapphire and sawing it down to just a few hundred micrometers thick. It’s time consuming and wasteful, but GT’s new Hyperion 4 Ion Implanter technology could allow it to make paper thin sheets of pure crystal sapphire glass just by bombarding it with hydrogen ions.

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