Taipei, Tuesday, July 28, 2015 21:53 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Taipei
25°C
Apple-GTAT partnership to drive sapphire demand
Jessie Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Wednesday 6 November 2013]

GTAT has signed a multi-year sapphire materials agreement with Apple.

Possible impacts on the industry:

1. The fourth quarter is tradtionally the LED sector's low season, during which sapphire prices should come down. However, 2-inch sapphire pricing is expected to inch up during the fourth quaeter of this year to reach US$4-4.5, as the prospect of sapphire being used in portable devices looks good.

2. Applications include: smartphone, tablet home buttons, camera lens, and even covers for iWatch and smarphones.

3. Why GTAT? One of the reasons is the US government hopes companies can move their production back to the US and create job opportunities. Another reason: GTAT's ingot growing technology can produce sapphire for large-size screens.

4. To make sure Apple will use sapphire as covers for tis devices and not competiting technologies (such as Corning's Gorilla Glass), the contract signed between Apple and GTAT requires Apple pre-pay US$578 million for equipment purchase.

5. Digitimes Research believes the US$578 million, if it's going to be all spent on buying ingot growing furnaces, will be enough to buy 2,000 units, or even more. The furnaces are estimated at US$200,000 to US$300,000 per unit, rather than the usual market price of US$600,000 quoted by GTAT.

6. The number of furnances seems high. If GTAT's target is to produce large-size 200kg ingots, monthly output could reach 5 million mm of 2-inch equivalents (yield rates not taken into consideration).

7. But if the output is meant to mainly cater to Apple's 5-inch handset screens in 2015, with the phone shipments estimated at 250 million units, the sapphire ingot capacity will still be 50%b short of demand.

8. Impact on the supply chain: Apple usually has second sources for its component supply. That means, Apple may find sufficient sapphire supply from other suppliers.

9. Potential beneficiaries: Including furnace suppliers for GTAT, KY ingot growing technology providers, and South Korea-based STC, who uses VHGF technology.

Click here to see GTAT's annoucement of the deal.

Topics: Page 2

Realtime news
  • Intel defines 6 desktop market segments for CPU platforms, say Taiwan makers

    Before Going to Press | 3min ago

  • Chipbond to boost sales generated from non-driver ICs, says report

    Before Going to Press | 5min ago

  • Demand for UV-A LEDs may take off in 2015, say Taiwan makers

    Before Going to Press | 6min ago

  • PTI looks to moderate growth in 3Q15

    Before Going to Press | 7min ago

  • PC replacement pushed by Windows 10 may come slowly, sat Taiwan makers

    Before Going to Press | 7min ago

  • Taiwan market: Samsung to launch tablet Galaxy Tab S2

    Before Going to Press | 9min ago

  • Taiwan IoT makers have to develop innovative applications to compete in global IoT market, says Acer founder

    Before Going to Press | 11min ago

  • Epistar may suffer 3Q15 net loss per share of NT$0.18

    Before Going to Press | 12min ago

  • Sony to launch new-generation optical discs in cooperation with Panasonic, says Nikkei

    Before Going to Press | 13min ago

  • Taiwan accepts ITA 2

    Before Going to Press | 15min ago

  • Baidu posts 2Q15 revenues of CNY16.58 billion

    Before Going to Press | 16min ago

  • MediaTek 3Q15 sales to rise 15-20%

    Before Going to Press | 16min ago

  • China IC backend firms reportedly obtain orders from Qualcomm, MediaTek

    Before Going to Press | 17min ago

  • China-, Taiwan-based makers hike August prices for solar-grade polycrystalline silicon wafers

    Before Going to Press | 17min ago

  • Digitimes Research: Taiwan makers to see flat shipment growth for large-size panels in 2H15

    Before Going to Press | 18min ago

  • AUO expects weak panel demand in 2H15

    Before Going to Press | 19min ago

  • Smartphone vendors uninterested in Windows 10, say Taiwan makers

    Before Going to Press | 19min ago

  • E Ink and Netronix jointly invest in new development facilities

    Before Going to Press | 20min ago

  • Inotera raises capex for 2015

    Before Going to Press | 21min ago

  • China market: Meizu to start marketing fast mobile chargers

    Before Going to Press | 21min ago

Pause
 | 
View more

Display panels for wearable devices: Market overview and forecast through 2017

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jul 23, 12:15

The wearables market is a growing focal point for many vendors and players in the display panel supply chain. This Digitimes Research Special Report looks at developments in panel applications in the wearable industry, with a specific focus on panel makers in...

Developments in the UV LED industry

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jul 16, 18:28

As white LED applications are becoming more widely accepted and common in the market and China makers push more price-competitive solutions, the 2015 global high-brightness LED output value is expected to only grow 7.5% on year. It is not surprising that in a...

Taiwan notebooks - 2Q 2015

TAIWAN MOBILE DEVICE | Jul 24, 15:33

The global notebook market remained sluggish in the second quarter of 2015. The seasonal pattern that has governed the notebook market previously will not appear in 2015, with Taiwan makers set to see on-year declines in the shipments during the second half of...

Taiwan LCD TVs – 1Q 2015

TAIWAN DISPLAY SYSTEM | May 22, 15:51

Taiwan's LCD TV makers saw strong seasonal impacts in the first quarter of 2015. Shipments to North America saw a particularly sharp decline as a result of reduced procurement from Mexico and major client Toshiba quitting the North America market.

Taiwan handsets – 1Q 2015

TAIWAN MOBILE DEVICE | May 15, 15:58

Most of Taiwan's handset makers felt strong seasonal effects in the first quarter. Foxconn suffered particularly as a result of drastic drops in orders from Sony Mobile and Microsoft Mobile.

High-brightness LED market trends and forecast, 2015
Trends and forecasts for the China FPD industry, 2014-2017
The transition to 4k TV - UHD TV market forecast, 2014-2017
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.