TECH

Apple Buys 'Entire 3 Year Supply Of Sapphire'

20/02/2014 15:15 GMT | Updated 20/02/2014 15:59 GMT

Apple has reportedly just purchased an absolutely ridiculous amount of next-generation "sapphire" screens ready for its next generation iPhone (or something similar) - and possibly its iWatch too.

Various sources have reported that Tim Cook's company has "secured" enough ultra-tough sapphire material to make between 100-200 million screens.

The screens were said to have been purchased from GT Advanced Technologies.

Meanwhile the co-founder of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, who recently attempted unsuccessfully to fund a new Linux-based smartphone (the 'Ubuntu Edge') said in an interview with GigaOm that Apple had bought three years supply of the screens.

"Apple just snapped up the entire 3-year supply of the same sapphire display we wanted for the Edge," Shuttleworth said.

What seems clear is that Apple is investing heavily in sapphire displays at the potential cost of anyone else who wants to use them. They did this before in the early days of high-resolution mobile displays, and certain types of battery tech, and it looks like they're flexing their muscle in the same way again.

What isn't clear is exactly which products will use the new displays - whether it's the iPhone 6 (and its 4.7- or 5.5-inch variants), a new 'phablet' device, an iPad or even its wearable device - whatever that is, if it exists.

As ever we'll have to wait and see.