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Apple boss confirms interest in sapphire crystal glass

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Apple boss confirms interest in sapphire crystal glass

While Apple's focus may be on the Macintosh today, a few casual remarks from the company's CEO substantiates at least some of what Cupertino might have under its sleeve at a new Arizona manufacturing plant.

ABC News posted a brief snippet of an interview with three Apple executives today as part of a Macintosh 30th anniversary celebration that attempted to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding the iPhone maker.

The conversation soon turned to Apple's US-based manufacturing ambitions, which include the previously announced Mac Pro facility in Austin, Texas and a new plant in Mesa, Arizona where GT Advanced Technologies is rumored to be producing sapphire crystal glass for Cupertino's products.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook confirmed the Arizona investment in sapphire glass during this week's interview, but dodged questions about when the glass might roll off the assembly line and whether it was intended for a rumored big-screen iPhone 6.

Revenge of iRing?

Cupertino appears well on their way to a sapphire future after dipping their toes in the water with the camera lens cover on the iPhone 5 and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor for last year's iPhone 5S.

According to Patently Apple, Taiwanese partner Foxconn recently began testing assembly of "sapphire substrate display covers" for an unspecified iPhone, successfully packaging as many as 100 such devices so far - but it's unclear how those efforts fit into Apple's big picture.

ABC reporter David Muir attempted to connect the dots between sapphire glass, iPhone 6 and even the rumored iWatch during his interview with Cook, who deflected each query with his usual Southern charm.

"It's for a ring," Cook quipped, apparently in reference to the rumored "iRing" device that became the butt of many jokes early last year in conjunction with Apple's mythical iTV television set.

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