Posted in | Precious Metal

Global Information Adds Report on Sapphire Applications and Market

Global Information Inc. announces the addition of a new market research report "Sapphire Applications and Market: From LED to Consumer Electronics" at

The sapphire industry recently ended an 18 month period of depressed pricing and achieved US$936 million in revenue for wafer products. Recovery was helped by an increase in LED demand due to growing adoption in general lighting and a resilient LCD backlight market. But the saving grace was new consumer electronic (CE) applications: camera lens and fingerprint reader covers, mostly driven by Apple in 2013. Overall, the growth in wafer demand will be enough to justify a capacity increase toward the end of 2014. For the longer term, we analyzed opportunities of alternative LED substrates (GaN and Si) but concluded that sapphire will retain > 90% of the market through 2020.

After almost 2 years of losses, core prices increased by more than 50% in 2013; tier-1 sapphire vendors are finally selling at prices close to breakeven costs. After a short pause, we expect the uptrend to resume through Q2 and Q3. But leading vendors' interests are not to increase prices above levels that would allow tier-2 competitors to generate a profit as well. We therefore expect prices to stabilize by the end of the year.

Due to strong competition, finishing companies didn't pass the higher material costs on to their customers. Wafer prices remained stable in 2013 but will go up slightly in Q2-2014. For PSS, which now dominates with 85% penetration rate, prices could increase faster as supply currently falls short of demand in Taiwan. This will continue until leading suppliers increase capacity and emerging players in China ramp up and enter the supply chain later in 2014. Overall, sapphire prices should stabilize by the end of 2014 and start decreasing again in late 2015 as the industry keeps improving its cost structure.

Table of Contents

Open and Captive Markets
Executive Summary
I - Industry Overview
II - Alternative Substrates for LED
II - A: GaN-On-GaN LEDs
II - B : GaN-On-Si LEDs
III - Sapphire Market for Nitride LED
III - A: LED Market Overview
III - B - Nitride LED Manufacturing Capacity
III - C: LED Sapphire Wafer Forecast
IV - Patterned Sapphire Substrates (PSS)
IV - A: PSS Technology Overview
IV - B: PSS Manufacturing
IV - C: PSS Market Trends and Supply Chain
V-Sapphire for RF Applications: SoS
VI- Sapphire Supply and Demand Analysis
VII - Consumer Electronic Applications
VII-A: Camera Lens Cover & "Home Button"
VII-B: Smart Watches
VII-C: Display Covers
VII-D: The GTAT - Apple Deal
Company Profiles: Established Vendors
Company Profiles: Emerging Vendors
Annex #1 : Forecasting Artificial Light Consumption

More detailed information is available at

Media Contact: Joe Malley, Global Information, Inc., 860-674-8796, [email protected]

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