Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) just opened up another sapphire glass plant, this time in Massachusetts.The latter used the $578 million prepayment from Apple to start the facility.
Apple likely to expand sapphire production
The facility was originally a research and development laboratory. It is a 50,000 square foot plant located in the city of Salem. It is not as big as the Arizona plant, which is about 1.3 million square feet. There is still no word on whether this facility will be a key manufacturing location or if it is being used as a test-bed. There have been rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was going to expand the Arizona location, which means it could literally double in size. This could also mean the installation of about 5,000 furnaces.
The fact that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has plans to manufacture an enormous amount of sapphire has fans wondering what the company has planned for sapphire glass. It could be used for anything, from smartphones to iWatches. In the past, Apple was a step ahead with new technologies and products. The Cupertino-based tech giant prides itself as a strong company that is always on the brink of something new. Few companies can boast successfully reinventing products and technologies the way Apple has. It’s highly likely that Apple has some exciting surprises ahead with sapphire glass.
More speculation regarding the iPhone 6
A new rumor indicates that the upcoming iPhone 6 will feature sapphire glass, at least on the larger version. Insiders from a Taiwanese supply chain claim a larger iPhone will feature a screen made from sapphire. This would make the phone resistant to scratches. The iPhone 6 is rumored to be a phablet, which would make it a better competitor against the likes of Android brands like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) and HTC Corp (TPE:2498).
Big things are ahead for Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), and there is little doubt that fans have a lot to look forward to. Whether or not Apple adds sapphire screens to the upcoming iPhone and / or iWatch remains to be seen.