Apple’s sapphire maker grows the world’s biggest sapphire crystal

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sapphire-boule
Has Apple's latest manufacturer cracked the sapphire code?
Photo: GT Advanced Technologies

Apple has had its problems with sapphire manufacturers before, but not with its latest supplier, which not only stands as the largest sapphire manufacturer in the world and one of the few that are showing any kind of operating profit — but also just churned out the world’s first 300lb synthetic sapphire crystal.

The company most people will be familiar with when it comes to Apple and sapphire is, of course, GT Advanced Technologies.

Opening a factory in Mesa, Arizona to build iPhone 6 displays, GT was given a massive Apple contract and then immediately seemed to implode amidst complaints about mismanagement and over-promising.

In its place, the Russian company Monocrystal was given the contract for building sapphire glass for the Apple Watch, which has helped drive the company’s revenue to $87 million annually. True, that’s a drop in the ocean compared to giants like Foxconn, but it’s still enough to firmly put it out in the lead when it comes to operating profit for sapphire makers.

The 300-pound sapphire crystal made by Monocrystal was reportedly made using the company’s “kyropoulos method” based on its own technology. Seeing as one of the problems GT seemed to have was making boules big enough to be sliced up to make iPhone screens, this is certainly promising news.

Monocrystal has said that it plans to expand its production capacities for sapphire by more than 20 percent by the end of 2015 — giving it 30 percent of the total global market for artificial industrial sapphire.

Maybe those sapphire iPhones aren’t too far away, after all…

Source: Sputnik News