Ignore This Apple Inc. Rumor

A sketchy report claims that Apple will face a major spike in costs if it tries to use sapphire on iPhones. Do these numbers add up?

May 6, 2014 at 6:00PM

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is widely expected to incorporate sapphire into its devices to an even greater extent in the future. However, a new report from China suggests that sapphire will be prohibitively expensive for even Apple to use. The report, which is admittedly questionable, pegs sapphire display assembly costs at $280. That's up from the current estimated cost of around $40 for Retina display assemblies. Such a major spike in component costs would inevitably end up pushing up retail prices if the report proves accurate -- but the numbers simply don't add up.

Corning has worked hard to show that its Gorilla Glass remains superior, as Corning would stand to lose if Apple shifted to sapphire. GT Advanced Technology has started to ship sapphire in small quantities to Apple from its Arizona facility. GT Advanced has built a factory with such massive capacity that the company could help push down sapphire prices across the board.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses sapphire costs with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief.

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Erin Kennedy owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA has the following options: long January 2015 $460 calls on Apple and short January 2015 $480 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Corning. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Corning. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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