The sapphire industry: what’s next?

Almost two years after GTAT’s bankruptcy, the sapphire industry is still there. Its decor and characters have, of course, changed but the story is still unfolding… Survival strategies, emerging applications and niche markets, mergers and acquisitions… all the protagonists are contributing to altering the landscape, trying to identify new business opportunities to absorb the sapphire overcapacity.

China is a major contributor to the story with new investments and emerging companies in this already saturated industry. What is the impact on the sapphire supply chain? What are the strategies to be adopted to succeed? What are the long-term perspectives?

In this tense economic environment, Yole Développement (Yole) and its partner CIOE are organizing a 1.5 day conference to learn more about the status of the sapphire industry. The event will provide an opportunity for all the participants to discuss the future of this industry and to find answers. Sapphire is now more affordable than ever and new capabilities have enabled the manufacturing of components for very diverse applications. The 2nd International Forum on Sapphire Market & Technologies is the place to be to understand today’s economic and technical challenges and build tomorrow’s industry.

The Yole & CIOE Forum will take place from September 6 to 7 in Shenzhen, China, alongside the 18th China International Optoelectronic Expo 2016. To find out more about this event, visit: Sapphire Forum Agenda Sapphire Forum Registration.



Two years after the GTAT-Apple bubble burst, prospects are dwindling for the adoption of sapphire solutions for smartphone cover glass.
The LED sector still has the highest demand for sapphire, but the expected volumes cannot sustain the one hundred or so sapphire producers currently competing in the industry.
Some sapphire companies are leaving the most commoditized markets and shifting their development strategies toward niche markets with higher added-value such as medical, industrial and military applications. Other business opportunities could materialize, including microLED arrays and other consumer applications.



Most sapphire companies are chasing any opportunity to survive and optimize their cost structure within a market which is currently characterized by a relentless price war. In Q1- 2016, the sapphire price plunged to its lowest ever level and most companies experienced a drastic decrease in revenue.
In this highly competitive market with significant economic constraints, Yole and CIOE are organizing the 2nd International Forum on Sapphire Market & Technologies (Shenzhen, China – September 6&7, 2016). “The Sapphire Forum is an opportunity for the entire supply chain to come together to assess the current status of the industry, understand what lies ahead and determine the best strategies to make it through the crisis”, comments Dr. Eric Virey, Senior Technology & Market Analyst, Yole.

Last year’s forum was a success; it brought together 20 international speakers from leading industrial players across the entire sapphire value chain. Attendance exceeded 230 participants including many CEOs and high-level executives. For the first time, the sapphire industry had its own event to discuss markets, applications, technologies, the competitive landscape and long-term prospects.

This year, the Sapphire Forum program has once again been created thanks to Yole analysts’ expertise and input from the industry. Indeed, since the first forum, the “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company, Yole, has pursued its discussions with sapphire industry leaders to understand what has changed and today’s market & technical issues.

The consulting company has been tracking the sapphire market for more than a decade: results are available in the annual focused technology & market analysis: Sapphire Applications & Market 2015: from LED to Consumer Electronics (more information on

The 2016 Sapphire Forum will include the following sessions: Sapphire market & industry status – Applications – Metrology – Front-end manufacturing – Finishing – Sapphire patterning.
Over a day and a half, key sapphire players such as Monocrystal, Aurora and Rubicon will share their views on the market and their strategies. The full list of speakers is available now.

“The entire sapphire ecosystem, including investors, sapphire component users, sapphire producers and more will attend this 2nd forum”, comments Pars Mukish, Business Unit Manager, LED, OLED and Sapphire at Yole. “Over two days, they will share their questions about the industry, its evolution and key technical challenges.”

Moreover, the forum will end with a round table with leading industry players and experts to discuss the future of sapphire technologies and markets.
The Yole & CIOE Sapphire Forum will bring together a world-class panel of industrial experts. This event, composed of presentations and round tables, will allow participants to get valuable insights into the future of the industry. Moreover, it will provide valuable opportunities for meetings with industry leaders.

Make sure you attend the 2nd Sapphire Market & Technologies Forum – save the date today!

For more information about the Forum, sponsorship opportunities and media partnerships, please contact Camille Veyrier (