Countdown to iPhone 6 Sends China's 'Apple Concept' Stocks Soaring

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock investors in China have been betting on a big second half for Apple (AAPL) by snapping up shares in the company's Chinese suppliers and other makers of smartphone parts.

So-called "Apple concept" stocks on the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges have risen sharply since last week on expectations of an impending ramp-up for production of a new iPhone 6, an updated iPad and the iWatch.

The market has also gotten behind companies that make or supply parts for electronic gadget screens including so-called "sapphire glass" screens, such as the Shenzhen-listed companies Roshow Technologies, Jin Fu New Materials and Anjie Technology.

If Apple switches to sapphire glass for screens, as many tech sector observers expect, other smartphone makers with factories in China are likely to follow suit, according to a GF Securities report. This "copycat effect" could push demand for sapphire glass screens to three times what Apple will need for new iPhones, the report said.

Over the past week, Roshow's price has climbed 14%, closing Wednesday at 25.95 yuan a share, while Jin Fu jumped 20% to 12.72 yuan. Shares in Anjie, a contractor for Apple supplier Foxconn (FXCNF), closed at 37.19 yuan after climbing 17% since last week.

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Roshow recently announced a joint venture with privately held Apple supplier Biel Crystal -- a company accused of labor abuse leading to suicides last fall -- to make sapphire glass screens at a new factory. The companies have reportedly invested 500 million yuan and plan to launch production in August.

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