Sapphire Industry Watch – September 12

  • The Truth About Sapphire, The Insanely Hard Material Apple May Use For The iPhone 6 Screen – Business Insider: As rumors continued to spread before the announcement regarding the face plate of Apple’s iPhone 6, Rubicon CFO Bill Weissman sat down with Business Insider to explain the realities behind a sapphire screen. A sapphire screen is one of the hardest materials on the planet- making it more scratch resistant than the currently-used Gorilla Glass- but is not completely damage proof. But despite some disadvantages, it is likely many smartphones will use sapphire covers in the future.
  • Apple Doubles Down On Sapphire; Will iPhone Get A Glittering Upgrade? – San Jose Mercury News: Before Apple’s smartphone announcement, analysts were buzzing about sapphire. Apple invested heavily in sapphire production, sparking rumors that the smartphone giant will be including the durable material in more than just the home button and lens, where they have used sapphire in their past designs. Analysts highlighted sapphire’s hardness, second only to diamond, but also its sensitivity to touch, making the screens easier to navigate for users. The increased density would also allow Apple to create a thinner screen, keeping smartphone competitors on their toes.
  • Why The iPhone 6 Isn’t Rocking a Sapphire Crystal Display – CNET: The climactic reveal at Apple’s Sept. 9 event lacked one much-anticipated and talked-about feature: a sapphire crystal display on the iPhone 6 and 6 plus. Sapphire made its way into the new Apple Watch as a display cover, but the use is far smaller in size than it would have been in the smartphones. Rubicon CFO Bill Weissman acknowledges that the cost of sapphire is one of the hurdles to its broader adoption.
  • Apple Watch With Sapphire Glass Launched By Tim Cook – Bloomberg TV: During Apple’s product announcement on September 9, reporters cheered for the much-anticipated announcement of a wearable device. Apple delivered, announcing the Apple Watch, a smart wearable device with sapphire glass plates on the front and back of the watch. The sapphire is more durable than Corning Gorilla Glass used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models. The Apple Watch includes a fitness tracker, heart rate monitor and various other personalized features and will be on sale in early 2015.
  • Intel Reveals MICA, Its First Luxury Smart Bracelet – CNET: Intel beat Apple to the market with its own luxury smart bracelet released September 3. MICA, or My Intelligent Communication Accessory, features a curved sapphire touchscreen display as part of its high-end fashion design. The device will provide alerts and notifications, including SMS messages, calendar reminders and meeting alerts directly to the wrist display and will come in two styles. The device is part of a partnership between Intel, Opening Ceremony and Barneys that was announced in January, as part of Intel’s push into the wearables market.
  • Small Towns USA Get On LED Bandwagon – Sustainable Business: Some of the biggest cities are saving millions of dollars by switching streetlights to efficient LED bulbs and smaller communities are following suit. Twenty-five communities in the Kansas/Missouri area with less than 35,000 people each have switched to ultra-efficient LED lighting, saving a combined $25 million over the past three years. The transition is part of the “Smart Lights for Smart Cities” program initiated by the Mid-America Regional Council with the prime objective to decrease emissions.
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About Rubicon Technology

Rubicon Technology, Inc. is the global leader in sapphire growth technology and large-diameter sapphire substrates. Rubicon’s products are used extensively in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), optical systems, consumer electronics and specialty electronic devices. To learn more, visit rubicontechnology.com.

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