JPMorgan Securities Ltd does not think the initial launch of the iPhone 6, if Apple Inc introduces it this fall, will have sapphire crystal for its main display in any significant volume.
With the limited disclosure about the iPhone 6 by Apple and amid persistent speculation about the new phone’s cover glass adoption, JPMorgan believes the volume will be about 10 million covers this year in either 4.7-inch or a 5.5-inch models, according to the brokerage’s latest industry report, released on Tuesday.
That volume of sapphire cover adoption represents less than 1 percent of the entire smartphone market, JPMorgan said.
“Sapphire covers will also be restricted to high-end iPhones, possibly the 128GB [gigabyte] ones,” the brokerage said in the report.
However, the report, authored by analysts Narci Chang (張恆), J.J. Park and Jay Kwon, expects the adoption to rise severalfold next year.
“We believe this will mark only the beginning of sapphire smartphone cover adoption,” they wrote.
Speculation has arisen recently that sapphire crystal might become an alternative to Corning Inc’s damage-resistant Gorilla glass as smartphone cover material, and analysts say other brands, including HTC Corp (宏達電), Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and Xiaomi Corp (小米), have shown interest in sapphire covers.
However, US-based Corning has responded by saying that sapphire covers for high-end watches are two or three times thicker than Gorilla glass, and that laboratory strength tests have shown sapphire breaks more easily than Gorilla glass.
JPMorgan said sapphire’s cost is also an issue in view of the low yield rates sapphire manufacturers are facing.
“Due to various challenges related to the new cover material, we believe the production output for sapphire covers will be low,” JPMorgan analysts said. “Sapphire ingot yield rates could be as low as below 50 percent for this size, and finished sapphire smartphone covers may cost as much as US$40 to US$45 versus below US$10 for finished Gorilla glass.”
Based on the brokerage’s recent checks with the sapphire supply chain — including GT Advanced Technologies Inc, headquartered in the US, South Korea’s Sapphire Technology Co (STC) and Procrystal Technology Co (佳晶) of Taiwan, JPMorgan said Apple’s iWatches may not all be equipped with sapphire covers.
The rise of the cryptocurrency dogecoin has reached a new level after the token was used to pay for a lunar satellite launch. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial rocket firm, is to embark on a moon voyage next year carrying a so-called cubesat — a mini-satellite used for space research — from Geometric Energy Corp that has been paid for entirely in dogecoin. The development is the latest twist in the saga over the digital token, which started as a joke in 2013, but is now a dominating Internet meme and sitting on a 21,000 percent rally in the past year. Musk has
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) NT$10 million (US$357,194) and DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) NT$6 million for breaches of the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The NT$10 million fine is the highest penalty that it has imposed on a domestic bank, the commission said. Citibank Taiwan failed to set up a sound mechanism for evaluating clients’ risk of money laundering and for detecting suspicious transactions, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang Kuang-hsi (黃光熙) told a news conference in New Taipei City. The bank based its AML policies on those of its US-based parent company, Citigroup Inc, but the policies
CAPACITY EXPANSION: Construction of the site, which is to be the firm’s first mRNA production facility outside of Europe, is to begin this year and likely finish in 2023 COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech SE yesterday said it would build a Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site in Singapore to produce hundreds of millions of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines per year. Construction of the site would start this year, and it could become operational by 2023, the German company said in a statement. “With this planned mRNA production facility, we will increase our overall network capacity, and expand our ability to manufacture and deliver our mRNA vaccines and therapies to people around the world,” BioNTech chief executive Ugur Sahin said. The vaccine produced by BioNTech jointly with Pfizer Inc of
OUTBREAK: About 200 of the airline’s 1,200 pilots are not able to work. Most of them have been quarantined to prevent further infection, but 12 have COVID-19 China Airlines Ltd (CAL,中華航空) yesterday confirmed that it would temporarily reduce its cargo flight services to cope with a pilot shortage, as one-sixth of its pilots have been sidelined by a COVID-19 outbreak. “We are working out a new schedule,” the airline said in a statement after local news media reports on Saturday said that it would be reducing its cargo services from Wednesday, primarily affecting US destinations. CAL declined to give details about its new operating plan, but the reports said that it would be suspending its cargo flights to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and