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Apple Watch will reportedly use a Mind Blowing 31 Million Millimeters of Two-Inch Sapphire Ingots in 2015


A new supply chain report forecasts that a total of 30.8 million millimeters of two-inch equivalent sapphire ingots will be used for Apple Watch covers in 2015. This accounts for 18% of sapphire ingots produced worldwide for the entire year. Facing this new surging demand, the sapphire industry can look forward to a dramatic improvement in market demand and supply, according to LEDinside.


Total shipments of Apple Watch in 2015 are expected reach 20 million units, with some estimates even higher. Among the different Apple Watch models, only the Watch Sport series is not using sapphire on the watch's cover display. To be fitted on the cover of an Apple Watch, the sapphire glass requires a double-sided polishing and 2.5D process, so the sapphire watch cover has to be thicker compared with that of other products.


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The sapphire covers for Apple's smartwatches are sourced from two China-based suppliers: Lens Technology and Biel Crystal. Due to technology, costs, and geography, China sapphire makers intend to work closely with these two major glass suppliers. Through cooperation, they will be able to get the most benefit from the supply chain.


The firm said China's sapphire makers have the geographical advantage that allow them to work closely with these two major domestic glass processors during the R&D phase. This alliance with Lens Technology and Biel Crystal aims to improve the makers' production and processing, so they will be able to increase their yield rates and satisfy Apple's demand.


One of these partners, Harbin Aurora Optoelectronics, has even netted orders from both Lens Technology and Biel Crystal, thus benefiting fully from orders for Apple Watch products. With these gains, Harbin Aurora will be able to position itself next to Russia's Monocrystal as another global giant in the sapphire industry.


Market estimates for the Apple Watch in 2015 have varied but supply chain sources have so far estimated that shipments will reach 4.8 million in the second quarter and about nine million in the third.




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