With more and more smartphones and other portable devices adopting sapphire as cover glass, sapphire ingot vendor Sapphire Technology Company (STC) is looking to double its production capacity to meet the anticipated growth in demand, according to Digitimes Research.
STC plans to invest a total of KRW20 billion (US$18.65 million) to double the current capacity of 1.37 million mm a month, said Digitimes Research. After the capacity expansion, STC's share of the global sapphire ingot market is expected to reach 30% from 10% in 2012, Digitimes Research indicated.
STC's sapphire ingots have already been adopted by Apple for camera lenses and home button for the iPhones, and by Samsung Electronics and LG for LED sapphire substrates and handset-use camera lens cover, Digitimes Research noted. STC stands a good chance of grabbing more orders from these existing customers, Digitimes Research said.
In addition, STC has enjoyed growth in its production utilization rates and rising sapphire ingot prices. STC is expected to utilize more than 80% of its production capacity in the fourth quarter, while the average selling price (ASP) for 2-inch sapphire ingots is set to exceed US$4, Digitimes Research pointed out.
Digitimes Research forecasts that STC's revenues will top KRW41.5 billion in the second half of 2013, up from KRW13.7 billion in the first half of the year and KRW22.1 billion in second-half 2012.