GforGames' Matei seems resigned to a cruelly disappointed hope. "As always, it's difficult know for sure (or t0 accurately predict) what will happen in the second half of the year, and the next iPhone is still quite a mystery, despite the numerous rumors surrounding it," he writes, perfectly summing up the epistemic dilemma of the iOSphere. "Whether or not we'll get to see a sapphire screen on the iPhone 6 remains to be seen, but chances are slim."
At 9to5Mac, Mark Gurman has been working with an investor, Mark Margolis, to track down documents about Apple's deal with GTAT. The most recent post, from Feb. 6, links to a redacted SEC filing by GTAT that goes into detail about the agreement. You can find the document online.
The Rollup doesn't agree with some of Gurman's specific deductions, but the SEC filing makes clear this is a massive Apple investment, apparently similar to the kinds of capital spending arrangements it has with its Asian suppliers and that it appears to commit GTAT to an exclusive relationship with Apple with regard to sapphire production in very large quantities. A reasonable conclusion is that Apple seems to be preparing to create sapphire displays for larger devices.
Margolis this week disagreed with the GforGames conclusion that sapphire is still too expensive for Apple to use on the iPhone. He argues that given the dramatic cost reductions in sapphire manufacturing and Apple's gigantic share of smartphone profits, there is "wiggle room in their margin to add sapphire displays."
The question remains as to when they'll be added.
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