Apple's New Sapphire Supplier Grows Largest Sapphire Crystal
The Russian company Monocrystal was given the contract for building sapphire glass for the Apple Watch. In July, the factory, based in the Russian city of Stavropol, grew a 300-pound sapphire crystal – a world's first, using the kyropoulos method based on its own technology. The method is used to produce large crystals that are crack-free, unlike the nightmare products from GTAT that were shown in our November 2014 report titled "A Real Profit Killer: Pictures of GTAT's Sapphire Boule Graveyard." The photos shown below are from the original Wall Street Journal report.
Monocrystal is expecting to grow its business by 20% this year. Whether Apple will ever be bringing sapphire cover glass to future iPhones is still up in the air. The U.S. Patent Office published an Apple patent application regarding a new way to manufacture sapphire last month – and we posted a patent report just last week titled "Apple Designs Advanced Wireless Antenna with Unique Sapphire Structure for Killer iPhone Form Factor & Beyond."
Apple's interest in using sapphire for future products beyond the Apple Watch still appears to be in play despite being burned by their experience with GTAT.
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