By BizLED bureau
March 13, 2015: While Apple Watch will be released on April 24, pre-orders will start from April 10. With this development, the sapphire industry in China is optimistic and looking towards a buoyant growth. Apple?s smartwatch cover is made of sapphire glass. This is expected to boost sapphire manufacturing, particularly in China.
It is expected that total shipments of Apple Watch in 2015 will be about 20 million units. Among the various Apple Watch models, only the Watch Sport range will not use sapphire glass on the watch?s cover display; all the others will use it.
A report forecasts that about 30.8 million millimeters of two-inch equivalent sapphire ingot will be required for Apple Watch covers in 2015 itself, which is almost 18% of sapphire ingots produced worldwide for a year. Fuelled with this increasing demand, the sapphire industry will witness significant growth in 2015, particularly in China.
To qualify to be on the Apple watch, the sapphire glass needs to go through double-sided polishing and 2.5D process, so that it becomes thicker as compared to other products.
Apple had announced that sapphire covers for Apple?s smart watches will be procured from two Chinese suppliers?Lens Technology and Biel Crystal.
Lens Technology?s revenue in 2014 was RMB 14.49 billion, of which 47.44% of he revenue came from Apple order.
China?s sapphire manufacturers have the geographical advantage that help them to work with each other, and Lens Technology and Biel Crystalwill will also support each other during the R&D stage. The alliance with apple will also help Lens Technology and Biel Crystal to increase and improve their production and processing capabilities, and will also support them to increase their yield rates.
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