On Wednesday, a new report by Focus Taiwan came out, and reported that China Economic Weekly said that “Foxconn has signed an agreement with the Zhengzhou city government in Henan Province, central China, to set up a display factory on a plot of land next to an iPhone 6 assembly plant.” If this is true, Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion facility in central China will be dedicated to producing screens for Apple’s mobile devices, which would then use synthetic sapphire crystals for increased durability and protection.
New reports are coming up stating that Apple isn’t done or giving up on the new sapphire material entirely yet. Sites like Focus Taiwan and China Economic Weekly had reported that Foxconn has signed an agreement with the Zhengzhou city government in Henan Province, central China, to make a display factory on a 133-hectare plot of land next to an iPhone 6 assembly plant.
The new factory is expected to manufacture sapphire displays for the next generation of the Apple devices. Other observers say that Apple has not given up on a plan to use sapphire displays in their next-generation smartphones, although the company continues to cautiously watch and evaluate the adoption of the scratch-resistant screens to ensure that there are sufficient supplies.
In late October, Apple and their bankrupt U.S. supplier of sapphire materials, GT Advanced Technologies Inc., reached a settlement agreement under which GT will wind down their sapphire materials production in the company’s locations in Mesa City, Arizona and Salem City, Massachusetts.
Currently, Apple uses sapphire materials in the home buttons and camera lenses on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, as well as the iPad Air 2 tablet computer.