Last year, Apple struck a deal with GT Advanced to manufacture sapphire crystals. And today, reports have emerged that Apple has acquired machinery to allow it to produce over 100 million sapphire crystal displays a year.
Although sapphire crystal is currently being used on the iPhone 5S' biometric sensor, there is evidence to suggest that the new machinery acquired is not used for the production of small sapphire crystal pieces.
Specifically, the machine in question is the Intego Sirius Sapphire Display Inspection Tool, which is used to inspect large size sapphire crystal displays to ensure that they meet quality standards.
For quite some time now, Apple has been rumored to be pondering the use of sapphire crystal displays for their iPhones. The use of a sapphire crystal would render the iPhone's display to be virtually scratch-proof. However, sapphire crystals are also known to be brittle and can shatter quite easily if dropped. This has led many to ponder about the plausibility of such a move.
Bearing in mind that the machine inspects larger size crystals, could it mean sapphire crystal displays for Macs? This is unlikely considering that displays of Macs and MacBook Pros are unlikely to be put in a situation where they would get scratched.
Given that sapphire crystal is widely employed in the watch industry, maybe that's what the machinery is for. Given Apple's eye for quality and design, it would be unthinkable that if the rumored iWatch would come without sapphire crystal.
Source: 9to5 Mac.