Yesterday Patently Apple reported on a new patent application from Apple covering new techniques for using sapphire on iDevice displays. Today, it's being report that Apple OEM partner Foxconn has begun testing the assembly of sapphire substrate display covers for the iPhone in their Lunhua factory in Shenzhen. According to Chinese-language Apple Daily report, Foxconn has packaged 100 sapphire substrate display cover phones. Despite the small number assembled, the report claims that it's is a huge development for Foxconn.
Financial analysts noted that "Taiwanese sapphire substrate manufacturers that are indirect suppliers to Apple include Crystal Applied Technology Inc., Crystal Wise Technology Inc. and Tera Xtal Corp. If iPhone display covers sapphire substrate applications are confirmed, then evident momentum will be observed in related manufacturers operations."
However, the report isn't taking into account that Apple's Arizona plant partnership with GT Advanced Technologies for manufacturing sapphire iPhone covers and other related parts will be operational sometime later this year. So it's unclear at the moment how much of Apple's business for sapphire materials the Taiwanese suppliers noted above will actually gain.