Apple's iPhone 6 May Have Production Issues Due to Rising Sapphire Display Costs
Supply chain sources on Weibo has recently claimed that Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone may have a limited production volume because of high quality sapphire display material. The report has stated that producing the sapphire is at high cost and because of that, Apple may not be able to include the scratch-resistant material in a large volume of the smartphone model. It was noted that Apple’s sapphire display can cost 1743 yuan or $280 in materials, which is much more costly than the $44 estimated for the 4-inch Retina display in the iPhone 5s. The higher price in material may affect and increase the retail price of the next iPhone by almost 50%. This may be a problem because the price of the smartphone may be more than the affordability point for most consumers.
These latest reports suggest that the sapphire screen costs around 1743 yuan (or $280), which would raise the final cost of the device to about 8000 yuan (or $1285) – at least in China. At the moment, the 16 GB iPhone 5S costs 5288 yuan in China ($850), whereas the beefier 64 GB variant is retailed at the price of 6888 yuan (or $1106)
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s earlier report, suggested that supply constraints might make Apple reserve the more expensive sapphire display for premium iPhone models like the 64GB version of the 5.5-inch dubbed iPhone 6. The company is starting to produce the sapphire materials in small quantities in the Arizona facility even though they are still purchasing from third-party suppliers. The sapphire production plant that is operated by GT Advanced and financed by Apple, is expected to produce anywhere between 100 and 200 million sapphire displays.
Source: G for Games