New iPhone 5S/5C to use Sapphire Crystal for Fingerprint Recognition Technology
The newest addition to the Apple family, the iPhone 5S/5C will be launched later this month. The addition of fingerprint recognition technology incorporating sapphire crystal has greatly benefitted substrate manufacturers. Crystal Applied Technology hit record highs with their August revenue at NT$194 million (US$6.5 million) with a monthly growth of 26.79 percent. Crystalwise Technology revenue for August was NT$170 million, an increase of 3.6 percent.
In the new iPhone 5S/5C, Apple has used sapphire crystal to create the touch home button and fingerprint sensors. Such manufacturers included Crystal Applied Technology, Crystalwise Technology, and Tera Xtal Technology.
Sapphire crystal has a hardness second only to that of diamonds. This makes it especially difficult to manufacture. Adding in that Apple requires the substrate to have a width no more than 300µm for use in the phone’s home button, substrate tends to have a low yield rate.
In the past, one 2 inch piece of sapphire crystal was enough to be cut into 55 pieces for use in Apple iPhone cameras. Now however, the same piece of crystal can only be cut into 16 pieces for the home button in the new iPhone 5S/5C. With increasing screen size and manufacturing becoming more difficult, there will be a much faster consumption of sapphire crystal manufacturer’s production capacity.