This week in tech news – iPhones have fewer upgrades and GT Advanced Technologies gains a new partner.

iPhone Launch Lures Fewer Upgrades
Research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners has released figures that show only 6% of iPhone 5 owners upgraded to one of the newer models released in September. The poll was done with 400 iPhone users. In 2012, 12% of iPhone 4S users upgraded to the iPhone 5. My assumption is that because the form factor of the 5S and 5C closely resemble the 5, that for most users it wasn’t enough to attempt the upgrade. Also, most users won’t pay retail for the iPhone. They will wait until they are able to use an upgrade and if they used it in 2012, most users may not be eligible for upgrade until 2014. 

GT Advanced Technologies Becomes Apple’s Newest Supplier
GT Advanced Technologies announced a multi-year deal with Apple on Tuesday in which GT will own and operate Advanced Sapphire Furnaces to produce sapphire materials. Apple is giving GT Advanced Technologies a $578 million advanced payment, which GT will reimburse Apple for over a period of five years. What does this mean for Apple? Sapphire glass is currently used to protect the iPhone camera and used in the Touch ID sensor on the 5S. It’s possible that the sapphire glass could be used in smaller items like a smart watch, but not likely that it will be used to replace the current glass of the iPhone screen due to cost.