Did we really need this complex analysis to determine that the iPhone 6 wouldn’t be released in May?
According to a report from the IBT, GT Advance Technologies Inc., Apple’s sapphire supplier, has indicated that they are clearly ramping up for the second half of 2014, and expect to be profitable at that point. IBT points out that the recent financial report from GTAT talks about “returning to profitability,” due to the fact that the company has made major investments into putting manufacturing infrastructure into place so that they ca meet Apple’s demands:
The reason GT needs to return to profitability is that the company halted sales of its sapphire furnaces to shift to building Apple’s plant in Arizona. “We are pleased to have Apple as a sapphire customer and to be in a position to leverage our proprietary know-how to enable the supply of this versatile material,” said Gutierrez. Apple is a big get for any company, and GT is betting on a future with the California tech giant, which could mean sapphire will be appearing in future devices.
Ok — so, all of this has translated into a big story about how the implied timetable for sapphire production for what is going to either be the iPhone 6 or iWatch (or both) poo-poos any chances of the iPhone 6 appearing in May. Again, it’s hard to believe that we needed to spin such a long yarn to get to this realization, especially considering that Apple would be hard-pressed to release a new, overhauled smartphone less than a year after a dual released 5S and 5C — no matter how much of a wet fart that dual release may have turned out to be. Add to this the fact that iOS 8 is still just a glimmer in Sir Jony Ive’s eye, and I don’t think that May was ever a serious proposition for the iPhone 6 release date. Sorry.
Lost in this story is the fact that sapphire stands to factor in significantly on the iPhone 6 — either as a replacement for Gorilla glass, used in tandem with Gorilla glass, or used on one of two rumored device sizes (a rumor that I am still not sold on). Currently, sapphire is only used on the camera lens of the iPhone; the new agreement with GT most likely lowered the cost of the material, meaning that it will be used in widespread fashion on the next iPhone.