The supply chain sources at Apple assert it might be difficult for the giant to turn around large qualities of 5.5-inch iPhone into production. This is essentially due to rising cost of Sapphire as the display material. As stated by a report, the soaring cost of sapphire as one of the components required for production might be an obstacle in producing a scratch-resistant iPhone version.
Looking into the details of the report we observe that a sapphire display will cost around $280 which is a notable shoot up from $44 deployed for a 4-inch retina display in iPhone 5s. This extra expense of $236 will lead to a price escalation of an iPhone, eventually affecting the maximum retail price and heavily impacting the affordability point for the consumers.
The specs of sapphire screen cost indicates 1743 yuan or $280 which will raise the final cost of an iPhone to about 8000 yuan or $1285- a minimum in China. As per the current price, a 16GB iPhone 5s costs 5288 yuan in China $850, whereas the 64 GB is sold at 6888 yuan or $1106.
This speculation matches to an earlier report issued by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who stated supply constraints might compel Apple to include the sapphire display under a premium section of iPhone such as 64GB, 5.5-inch iPhone 6.
Despite the fact that sapphire is being deduced as an expensive raw material, Apple continues to source sapphire from third-parties, in parallel to setting up a production plant for manufacturing sapphire in small quantities at Arizona. The Arizona plant which is financed by Apple and run by GT advanced, is anticipated to produce approximately 100-200 million sapphire displays which should be enough for an entire range of devices when the plant will operate at a hundred percent capacity.