Can the mainland manufacturers of the sapphire market grab the order?

[Text / Long Zonghui] Apple used sapphire as a series of guesses on the screen of mobile phones, making investors crazy.

On the evening of April 1st, Lu Xiao Technology (002617, SZ), which was suspended due to the planning of major assets, announced the joint investment with Berne Optics (Huizhou) Co., Ltd. to set up Berne Luxiao Sapphire Co., Ltd. (tentative name) in Inner Mongolia. The stock price rose by more than 70% in 7 trading days, and the company's first quarterly report for 2014, which is mainly engaged in copper, aluminum core magnets and motors, was a loss of 5-6 million yuan.

For Bonn Optics to enter Apple's sapphire supply chain, the odds are almost 100%, and Berne Optics and Lansi Technology have supplied glass panels for Apple for more than 10 years. Bourne Optics is currently the world's largest manufacturer of glass panels, with a total annual output value of 30 billion yuan, which is unmatched by any sapphire manufacturer in mainland China, including Taiwan.

Lu Jiancheng, senior engineer sales director of Nanjing Jingjing Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd. believes that the demand for sapphire capacity of consumer electronics is very large. The current production capacity of Jingjing Optoelectronics is 500,000 pieces/month, and will soon grow to 850,000 pieces/month. Production capacity is still one of the best in the LED industry, but it is insignificant in the consumer electronics industry.

There are rumors in the industry that if Apple orders the sapphire factory, it will not consider the mainland enterprises, but will give priority to Taiwan enterprises. Lu Jiancheng believes that the production of sapphire screens and LED substrate equipment is similar. The parameters of mobile phone screens are higher than LEDs, but some parameters are not high. The overall technical difficulty is quite high. Domestic sapphire companies have made rapid progress in technology. Although there has not been any experience in making large-size sapphire screens, there has been no problem after a period of research and development.

Song Lei, sales manager of Guizhou Haotian Market, also said that their mobile phone sapphire screen has been proofed, and the technical difficulty is not too high.

Prior to this, the window market has already occupied the capacity of quite Taiwanese manufacturers. If Apple orders another Taiwanese manufacturer, it is difficult to digest their orders. The above-mentioned vice president said that Apple's designated suppliers are only Berne Optics and Lansi Optics. It is impossible for China to enter Apple's supply chain. But it is possible that too many of these two orders will not be outsourced to the sapphire factory.

In fact, in addition to Apple, including its competitors Samsung and Taiwan, mainland mobile phone manufacturers have also investigated the action, Jin Li even took the lead in launching a sapphire panel phone, but said sales are not very good. Once Apple releases a sapphire panel phone, it is highly likely that follow-up manufacturers will follow suit. Since the screens of mobile phones are mostly square and the LED applications are all round, the process of the part such as the crowbar needs to be adjusted and newly added, and the cost will increase at the beginning. In this transaction, mobile phone manufacturers have strong bargaining power. In the initial stage of sapphire screen development, gross profit may not be expected, so all major sapphire manufacturers are waiting to see.

The industry estimates that the cost of a 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch sapphire screen is between $100 and $150, and the rumor of a sapphire panel phone is $100. Domestic mobile phone manufacturers are mostly positioned in the low-end market, and raising prices means lower market competitiveness. “The use of sapphire screens may have a certain impact on the price of mobile phones at current cost, but there is no guarantee that domestic manufacturers will produce some high-end models.” Song Lei believes that domestic sapphire plants are likely to receive orders for mobile screens. Very big.

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