Progress Towards Sapphire Manufacturing May Elevate Competition
Apple dramatically transformed the design of MacBook Pro line of notebooks by embracing aluminum as one of the core components used in production. By doing this, Apple benefitted and the industry in a whole flourished. Now, the company is prepared to revolutionize sapphire manufacturing in a corresponding way, but Verge argues that ,its solely Apple who is going to benefit from this move.
When Apple gave an introduction to aluminum unibody MacBook Pros back in 2008, the company was depended on third-party suppliers to furnish the material needed for notebook production. Apple’s support helped manufacturers to scale up production levels and meet the growing demand for unibody machines.
“Aluminum is now cheaper and easier to implement thanks to Apple itself,” says noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. His assessment, shared by many others, is that Apple’s demand drove “related suppliers of aluminum casing to invest more on capacity and technology.” They were all competing for the lucrative prize of satisfying the MacBook maker’s need to extrude, machine, anodize, and recycle vast quantities of the metal.
Apple may have given a start to the aluminum revolution, but they continued to source the raw material from third parties which means they did not supervise or took charge of the production process. The metal as a raw material progressed and made its way for the entire industry. But, it appears Apple is taking a different path for sapphire altogether. The company is willing to set a new manufacturing industry and keep the advantage closed to itself and reap the benefits.
Apple has made an alliance with materials manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies to set a sapphire production plant in Arizona for mass production of the raw material to be used for their products, iPhone and iWatch possible. Any forward movement which Apple takes for the production of sapphire will make it more affordable and further support the production of devices per year, which evidently will be between Apple and GT.
According to reports, Apple may subsume sapphire as one of the components into iWatch and iPhone 6 ,and also make a premium section of iPhones made with sapphire as a component. The company currently uses sapphire as a covering for its iPhone rear camera lens and the Touch ID sensor.