Apple Started Shipping Sapphire Glass for iPhone 6 to China
Apple started shipment of sapphire glass from a factory in Arizona in the run-up to the start of the mass production of iPhone 6. Supplies are aimed for the partners in China, who are currently making the final preparations for the new model production. According to the UBS Research analytic company, production of one sapphire glass costs Apple $ 8.5 to $ 10. The first shipment volume is estimated at $1 million.
Apple invested a huge sum of $578 million to their our own sapphire glass factory in Arizona. Intense interest of the producer to the hardest natural material (after diamond) is due to several reasons. First, synthetic sapphire glass is about 3-4 times firmer than the “fortified” Gorilla Glass coating, widely used in many smartphones.
Second, sapphire is colorless, scratch resistant, very hard (melts at 2030 Celsius degrees) and virtually impermeable for corrosive chemicals. These characteristics enable it to become a reliable protection for iPhones?, iPads? and other Apple products? screens.
Sapphire glass has higher density as compared to Gorilla Glass – 2.54 g/cm3 against 3.98 g/cm3 which is disadvantages , i.e. within the same size, Corning covering will be lighter. Apple, however, can produce thinner sapphire sheets to compensate for excessive weight and reduce the overall thickness of the device. The company has already adopted this approach in the iPad Air, reducing the thickness of the new tablet using thinner glass and LCD panel.
Apple currently uses sapphire glass to protect the camera lens and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, built in the “Home” button. However, huge investments shows the high interest of the American manufacturer in this material. In addition, the company has recently patented a means of securing the sapphire to the iPhone case – it is clear that not only the camera lens and Touch ID sensor protection is concerned.