The fact that Apple says Project Cascade will result in a "critical" new sub-component could be interpreted as suggesting something like a display cover glass rather than a camera lens cover.
Gurman is confident that the "aggressive" February launch means that Apple will soon be using the material in products: "A February launch for the plant would indicate that Apple will begin producing sapphire for integration with Apple products as soon as later this year."
Given how opaque the Apple supply chain is, The Rollup is less confident. One question is whether the Arizona sapphire is being ramped up for 2014 products, such as the iPhone 6, or for the design and development schedules of 2015 products. In both cases, Apple could be "aggressive." But the overall timeline will be quite different.
iPhone 6 will be "affected" by Lenovo's purchase of Motorola
Motorola Mobility has been a drag on the Android smartphone ecosystem, a chronic under-performer when it was part of Motorola, when it was part of Google, and in all likelihood now that it's part of Lenovo.
The upside, according to some, is that Samsung and Google won't be kicking sand in each other's corporate faces because Google now goes back to being "just" the Android software provider instead of a smartphone seller.
But according to International Business Times' Raymond Ronamai, the Lenovo acquisition has, you know, implications for the iPhone 6 and Apple's mobile business. How could it not?
"Lenovo Group announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Google Inc's Motorola handset division for $2.91 billion, hinting that the PC maker is set to take on companies like Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics in the smartphone sector," Ronamai writes. "The deal will help the Chinese company explore other markets through the Motorola brand."
Spending nearly $3 billion seems more like someone pounding the table and pounding his chest and screaming at the top of his voice rather than "hinting." According to the a story in The New York Times, "Lenovo executives said they would retain both brand names, and in some cases, the two brands might be sold alongside each other." But the same article points out that "Motorola, with barely more than 1 percent of the smartphone market share, is a shadow of the company whose Razr handsets were the must-have devices of the pre-smartphone era."
"We are not restricting Lenovo to China or Motorola to the U.S.," said Wai Ming Wong, Lenovo's CFO. "They are two different brands with different sets of propositions for the customers. The key for us is to sell more devices to the market."
Good luck with that.
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