Apple signed a deal with GT Advanced Technologies to create sapphire displays for the iPhone 6. Trusting an unproven supplier proved to be a fatal mistake, one that the Cupertino-based company likely won't repeat anytime soon.
A week ago, news surfaced that longtime manufacturing partner Foxconn was planning to spend $2.6 billion over the next two years to build a new display manufacturing plant. Although Foxconn didn't reveal much about the plant, a spokesperson said that it is being built at the urgent request of a client for exclusive use.
Most suspect that partner is Apple.
One week later, we're hearing word out of China that Apple is once again reaching out to Foxconn. This time, the Chinese company is being tapped to produce the ultra strong sapphire glass that GT Advanced was unable to turn out in any usable quantity.
The report claims Foxconn has signed an agreement with the Zhengzhou city government in Henan Province to develop a 133 hectare sapphire factory.
What's interesting here is the fact that while Foxconn and Apple have done business with each other for years, Foxconn has absolutely no experience in creating sapphire (that we know of). If the rumor does indeed pan out, it'll be interesting to see whether or not Foxconn can produce the amount of sapphire that Apple would need for screens on its next generation iPhone.
GT Advanced was reportedly only able to fill 10 percent of Apple's total order.