Apple CEO: Our Sapphire Plant is for a "Secret Project"
Remember that "exclusive rumor" that surfaced last month about Apple having just procured enough Sapphire Crystal furnaces to make 100-200M ~5-inch iPhone displays in Arizona? Well, it turns out that it had no bearing on what Apple will really be using their sapphire supplies for, according to the Wall Street Journal. Cook revealed it's for a secret project.
Specifically, the Wall Street Journal notes that "Cook may have slipped toward the end of his session and revealed a clue about Apple's future. In response to a question about manufacturing in the U.S., Cook pointed to a plant a supplier recently opened in Arizona to produce sapphire exclusively for Apple. There's been speculation that Apple may use the super-hard sapphire to produce scratch-resistant screens for future iPhones. Cook said the Arizona facility was for a "secret project" that he couldn't talk about.
The Wall Street Journal further reported yesterday that Apple's CEO Tim Cook "told shareholders that employees are working on great new products, some of which may be viewed as "extensions of what we're already doing,' while others are 'things that you can't see.' Maintaining secrecy is important, he said, because talking about the future gives competitors a road map of Apple's plans and the company is 'getting ripped off left, right and sideways.'"
Cook's comment about "extensions of what we're already doing," was first revealed earlier in the month when Cook stated "that anyone 'reasonable' would consider what Apple is working on as new categories." An extension of what they're already doing could, for example, be a new iPhone with a larger display, or an iPad nano, depending on how Apple wants to market such a device. It could also mean extending Apple TV to include a video gaming capability. For now, Tim Cook just wants to tease the market so that it'll be all the more fun when they surprise us later this year.
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