Report reveals global sapphire market to reach $3.01B by 2020
Sapphire—Apple needs it, GT Technologies is going to make it. With the anticipation of the new iTime and iPhone 6, this precious glass is gaining more attention because of the integration with more consumer products.
According to a report, “Sapphire Technology Market by Growth Technologies, Substrate Water, Devices, Applications, and Geography – Analysis & Forecast to 2013-2020,” the global sapphire market is expected to reach $3.01 billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.31 percent, whereas the Global Sapphire Technology Market for devices is expected to reach $6.17 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 12.24 percent.
The report includes an in-depth industry analysis as well as looking at the latest trends, uses for sapphire and the big dogs in the industry-including local GT Advanced Technology (Mesa, AZ, USA), Rubicon Technology (U.S.), Namiki Precision Jewel Co. Ltd (Japan), Monocrystal Inc. (Russia), DK Aztec Co. Ltd (Korea), Tera Xtal (Taiwan), etc.
While the use of sapphire is primarily known in smartphones, the report identifies other subsectors that are high-growth areas including camera lens cover, LED, HB LED and Color LED.
What makes sapphire so appealing? According to a report by Cult of Mac, while the cost of making this glass is higher than Gorilla Glass, the appeal comes from the durability, thermal and electric properties, longer lifespan, higher-efficiency and all around good fit for power electronic devices.
Sapphire is also used in the aerospace and defense industries because of it’s “ability to withstand extreme high and low temperatures, resistance to damage and used in some iterations of bullet proof glass.”
For GT Technologies, all apple-of-my-eyes are on them to see if they can produce the vast amount of glass needed for the anticipated 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch iPhone and iTime.
In November 2013, GT Technologies received a prepayment of $578 million from Apple to produce sapphire, bringing 700 new permanent jobs and an additional 1,300 construction jobs to the Valley.
GT Technologies stock has been on the incline since 2012, reaching an all-time high at $20.54 in July, but plummeted after “a downgrade from Buy to Hold [noted] by an analyst at Canaccord Genuity who believes all the positive news has already been priced into GT’s stock,” according to a report by 24/7 Wall Street. There was also uncertainty about how much sapphire would be used for the new iPhones or iTime.
In April, GT Technologies announced their Q1 2014 revenue at $22.5 million including $13.2 million in photovoltaic (PV), $5.6 million for the sapphire segment and $3.7 million for the polysilicon segment. In comparison to Q4 2013, their revenue was $32.6 million, and $57.8 million of revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. On August 5, they will announce their Q2 earnings.
In the meantime, i-enthusiasts, media, bloggers and its competitors are waiting to see if Apple is going to corner the market on sapphire, and if GT can get it all done in time.
Contributions from Markets and Markets, Forbes, 24/7 Wall Street, Cult of Mac
Photos courtesy of GT Technologies