SEOUL Aug 22 Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi
Inc has tapped South Korean manufacturers to produce sapphire
covers for a limited edition premium smartphone that it may
launch as early as the year-end, South Korea's Electronic Times
reported on Friday.
The report, citing no sources, said Xiaomi had ordered
sapphire covers for 50,000 smartphones. The newspaper did not
identify any of the South Korean suppliers that the Chinese firm
is sourcing the covers from.
Xiaomi declined to comment.
Sapphire is more durable and scratch-resistant than typical
glass display covers. Industry giant Apple Inc is
considering using sapphire screens in more expensive models of
its new, larger iPhones if it can get enough of the material,
the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, citing
This would not be the first time Xiaomi has rolled out a
device with design specifications similar to Apple's, such as
bevelled edges. The Beijing-based company's marketing strategy
has often been to position its Mi line as equal to the iPhone in
quality but at one-third the price.
Apple said in November last year that it will open a
manufacturing facility in Arizona in partnership with GT
Advanced Technologies Inc to make sapphire materials
for its popular electronics devices.
(Reporting by Se Young Lee and Gerry Shih; Editing by Ryan Woo)