Market research firm TrendForce claims that Apple’s manufacturing partners haven’t receive the material needed for the production of the smartphone.
The publication writes that shipping of the sapphire panels to suppliers should have already started in June ahead of the rumored September release.
“Yet, the research institute did not discover demands for smartphone cover glass. The sapphire glass version new iPhone will be issued in limited volumes this year, mostly because sapphire ingot manufacturers yield rates were lower than forecasts and issues involved in sapphire glass processing,” TrendForce wrote.
In addition, limited sapphire demand hasn’t generated a “price uptick” as sapphire ingot, substrate and patterned sapphire substrate (PSS) prices have dropped in July.
As far as the iWatch is concerned, analysts are skeptical towards the possibility that the device will incorporate sapphire glass, with “further observations” required.
“Since sapphire glass processing is relatively difficult, it would be problematic to mass produce sapphire watch cover glass,” TrendForce wrote. “Additionally, sapphire glass processing will become even more strenuous if the wearable device uses flexible OLED panels.”
Last year Apple signed a $578m contract with GT Advanced Technologies, a company that processes the sapphire, sparking rumors that the smartphone will feature the material.