It’s pretty clear that something went very wrong between Apple and its bankrupt sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies over the past year. That said, Technology Review points out that there are good reasons to believe that Apple’s sapphire display plan for the iPhone 6 may have been doomed from the start because it seems both Apple and GT Advanced underestimated the major difficulties involved in mass producing large sapphire screens.
“Producing sapphire requires a very clean environment, but ongoing construction at the factory meant that sapphire was grown ‘in a highly contaminated environment that adversely affected the quality of sapphire material,’ according to GT,” Technology Review writes after combing through GT’s assorted court filings. “It also requires uninterrupted supplies of water and electricity to regulate the temperature of the molten aluminum oxide used to form the boule. GT said that to save costs, Apple decided not to install backup power supplies, and multiple outages ruined whole batches of sapphire.”
Whether Apple or GT is ultimately at fault here we’ll likely never know. However, we feel pretty safe in saying that given the huge difficulties Apple encountered in producing sapphire displays in its first attempt, you probably won’t get a sapphire display on the iPhone 6s or even the iPhone 7.
Environmental and power supply issues weren’t the only problems Apple and GT had with making sapphire displays either — to get the full account, check out Technology Review’s full report available at the source link below.