CEO of Ubuntu developer Canonical confirms that Apple has "reserved" a considerable supply of sapphire screens. According to recent reports, Apple has been working on acquiring 3 years' worth of supply screen for production of its upcoming devices. There are no definite announcements yet from Apple on what other products it might offer with the technology, but it definitely gives a good insight on what the company has been up to.
GigaOm reported that Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth hinted about the buying habits of Apple. The CEO shed light on the next Ubuntu smartphone plans including Apple's purchase of sapphire materials during the press teleconference.
"Apple just snapped up the entire 3-year supply of the same sapphire display we wanted for the Edge," Mr Shuttleworth said.
The CEO was pertaining to the Ubuntu Edge. This was an Indiegogo project that went out to get funding for the development of the first smartphone in the world with Ubuntu operating system. The project raised around $12.8 million. However, the Edge did not materialise. It was short of Canonical's goal at $32 million.
The Ubuntu Edge will supposedly feature a 4.5-inch display. While it may be along the lines of Apple's screen size for the next iPhone 6, there is still a problem with the 16:9 aspect ratio designs. The CEO did not provide further details about the exact count of the sapphire screens Apple purchased. Analysts believe that Apple's current purchase will still not be enough for the required units of the next generation iPhone 6.
Analysts think that this is a good insight on how Apple plans to revolutionise and change its product offerings. The company has been experimenting on the use of hard metal on its devices. Apple started its sapphire adoption through the rear camera of the iPhone 5s. The camera covering is made of sapphire.
The Touch ID fingerprint scanner of the iPhone 5s also sports a cover glass with sapphire crystal.
Analysts predict that the next best move for Apple is to buy existing stock material. The company has extended a partnership with GT Advanced Technology in November 2013 for $578 million. Apple has also been preparing a production in Mesa, Arizona. Previously, it was reported that the company will produce around 100 to 200 million display units.