Monocrystal:Sapphire Substrate 1Q14 Price to Increase - LEDforum 2013

The increased demand for sapphire substrates in non LED applications including for smartphone camera lens caps plus home button covers, the supply and demand situation has had a turnaround. Sapphire substrate used in smartphones will take up the majority of the production capacity, said Mikhail Berest, Senior VP Global Sales Director, Monocrystal , a large global sapphire substrate manufacturer. It is expected 1Q14 and 2Q14 substrate price will have a large increase of 10 to 15 percent.

Following Apple’s use of sapphire substrate in home buttons in the latest iPhone, industry insiders predict that smartphone manufacturers will soon begin using sapphire substrate in phone displays, said Berest during an interview at LEDforum 2013. Companies that already use sapphire substrate include Apple and LG. Current production capacity demands for 2nch sapphire substrate are about 1.5 to 2 million pieces.

Sapphire substrate for high-end applications is facing a supply shortage of 20 to 30 percent. Rising use of sapphire substrate outside of LEDs provides an opportunity for price increases, said Berest. Following the increase in demand for applications outside of LED, LED chip manufacturers are currently extending the period for sapphire substrate orders.

Sapphire substrate prices will begin increasing10 to 15 percent in 1Q14. Prices are expected to likewise up 10-15 percent in 2Q14, said Berest. Smartphone manufacturers are also expected to begin using sapphire substrate in phone displays in 2014. Launch of new products using sapphire substrate in display screens might cause the next price hike.

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