According to the Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily, Apple’s partner Foxconn started testing the production of the new generation iPhones with the display covered with sapphire in their plant in Guangdong, China. Only about 100 units have been assembled so far, but the switch from Corning’s Gorilla Glass to sapphire is reported to be much more complex.
The sapphire glass is being supplied by Synopsys and Bern Optics, two companies that are already providing Apple with sapphire for the rear-facing camera in iPhones and for the Touch ID Sensor for the iPhone 5s. Both companies have made significant investments in the manufacturing process for sapphire glass, expecting large increase in orders from Apple in the future.
Apple has made a deal with GT Advanced Technologies worth $578 million to build a sapphire production plant in Arizona, but for a long time the rumors circulated that sapphire was to be used for Apple’s iWatch.
Source: Apple Insider