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Is an iPhone 6 with a sapphire display coming?

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Is an iPhone 6 with a sapphire display coming?

Apple has now for the first time started shipping sapphire from its plant in Arizona to suppliers in China, according to a new UBS Research report, and whispers once again point out that those sapphire panels could appear on the next iPhone.

Apple opened a sapphire plant in Arizona a few months ago in collaboration with GT Advanced Technologies, and actual sapphire production started last month, in line with earlier initial plans. UBS estimates there were just 100 sapphire furnaces running last quarter, and 400 to 500 more are to be installed in the first quarter of 2014, and then another 900 to 1000 in the second trimester.

Apple could sapphire instead of Gorilla Glass for the display of the iPhone 6

Apple currently uses sapphire to cover the lens on the iPhone 5s camera, as well as for the home button. With such large capacity, though, rumors are that Apple will use sapphire for the display of the iPhone 6, in place of the current Corning Gorilla Glass cover. Sapphire is said to have better physical properties, being less prone to damage and tougher to break.

Another analyst, Matt Margolis, estimates that Apple is actually ahead of schedule with sapphire production and its plant will run at full capacity even sooner since most of the furnaces were shipped in the December to February time frame. Interestingly, Apple is also allegedly buying sapphire from the GT Arizona plant at prices some 25% lower than what it pays to other vendors.

Speculations also run rampant about what additional benefits these sapphire panels might bring. We’ve heard suggestions (and seen patents) about sapphire being used with solar panels, so that your iPhone could recharge itself on the sun. Sapphire is also rumored to be used in the alleged Apple iWatch. Is any of those rumors true, though? Only time will tell, but one thing that seems certain is that Apple will be using more and more of sapphire, the world’s second hardest material after diamond, in its devices.

Apple first started shipping sapphire (from GTAT's Arizona plant) to partners in China in Q1

Apple first started shipping sapphire (from GTAT's Arizona plant) to partners in China in Q1



source: UBS Research via 9to5Mac

43 Comments
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posted on 01 May 2014, 04:51 3

1. refillable (Posts: 634; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


I doubt it's going to be practically any better than Samsung great S5's screen.

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:19 11

6. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 402; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


You do realise it has nothing to do with how good the screen looks or anything to do with screen technology? Its the glass that protects the screen BELOW it.. P.S. Sapphire is the hardest thing on earth to scratch after diamonds. So if it ever happens it will put your gorilla glass to shame.

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:25

9. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 402; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


*ON TOP OF it

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:29 3

11. SamDroid (unregistered)


Let me break down what he's saying for you, coz its like you didn't understand his post....
Will it affect the viewing angles of the display?
Will its sunlight legibility have issues?
Will it maybe somehow affect the overall quality of the screen?
Will it make the phone cost even more than its obviously worth?

Maybe Apple tested it and know the answers to these questions but when a guy asks its not a crime.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:49 4

17. iampayne (Posts: 239; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


He didn't ask a question he made a statement just FYI

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:34

30. PressStart (Posts: 117; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)


"I doubt..." = questioning

posted on 01 May 2014, 23:36 1

39. Blaze.Infernus (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 May 2014)


What? No it doesn't. Doubt means possessing disbelief/skepticism. One can have disbelief of something while no longer questioning it, the questioning can be finished and the doubt is the result. One can require and lead to the other, but they're not the same thing.

That was clearly a statement, not a question.

Question: do you not understand logic and the rules of the English language?
Statement: I doubt that you do.

See?

posted on 02 May 2014, 07:13

41. givemespecs (unregistered)


"I doubt" = statement, unless of course there's a question mark at the end!!

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:53 1

20. vincelongman (Posts: 1152; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


It's important to note that sapphire glass will shatter much easier than gorilla/dragontrail glass

IMO I want a gorilla/dragontrail glass on top of a flexible OLED screen, and then I would install a sapphire glass screen protector, for max protection

posted on 01 May 2014, 08:54 2

23. Finalflash (Posts: 1736; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


But Apple is now in the business of glass repair and guess who can't repair Sapphire glass... All third party repair shops. Apple doesn't do s**t to benefit consumers, only fanboys still believe that. They'll market the hell out of the word sapphire to lure in idiots and then when it breaks just as easily they're the only ones that can fix it. Easiest way to make money is to get idiots to buy proprietary crap that is prone to breaking.

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:25 1

27. papss (unregistered)


First rule of any business is to make money.. The only reason any company cares or does anything for said customer is if its going to make them money

posted on 01 May 2014, 13:01

35. KillgoreTroutTime (Posts: 283; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


And how do you make money? By providing consumers with the products and services that they demand. Capitalism is great, isn't it? Desire for profit becomes moral.

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:59

32. Immolate (Posts: 283; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


I'd rather gouge my eyes out with rusty pitchforks than say anything nice about Apple, but I think that obviously, if Apple began using artificially-created sapphire screens for the i6, people who broke them and didn't want to pay unconscionably high prices for a replacement would simply purchase a standard gorilla glass screen from a third party as a replacement. If sapphire "glass" does turn out to be more brittle than the Corning product, what do you want to bet that there will be a strong third party market to "upgrade" the i6? Remember, advanced glass products combine hardness with flexibility. I'm not sure how flexible industrial sapphire is, but I assume it's not very.

posted on 01 May 2014, 09:26 2

24. refillable (Posts: 634; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


What I actually was talking about is how practically useful this thing is compared to the S5. I mean, a diamond hard glass will be retarded when you still have a mere 200ppi and a price 10000 times higher than competiton. Plus I would doubt that it will put GG into shame. This is just a thin filament of Sapphire.

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:23

26. grahaman27 (Posts: 347; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


GG willl put sapphire to shame on the drop test.

it comes down to which you think is a bigger problem- scratches or cracks?

personally I hear a lot more people complaining about cracked screens, and sapphire will be easier to crack.

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:26

28. papss (unregistered)


GG will put my wallet to shame

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:04 1

25. rantao333 (Posts: 233; Member since: 21 May 2013)


u just prove how "advance" and "geek" samsung user are with this comment

posted on 02 May 2014, 20:24

43. mrblah (Posts: 437; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


That is because you have a fan boy avatar.

posted on 01 May 2014, 04:54 9

2. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Apple should get rid of iOS lol.

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:02 8

3. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Sure, that will happen, when pigs fly. :)

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:18 2

5. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


lol :)

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:22 2

8. Jishnusur (Posts: 72; Member since: 07 Oct 2013)


That's why Swineflu! :P

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:06 3

21. express77 (unregistered)


iFlu.

posted on 01 May 2014, 18:07 1

37. sip1995 (Posts: 810; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Give them some Red bull...

posted on 02 May 2014, 00:33 1

40. Arthurhkt (Posts: 94; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


Or, Elephant climb the tree, lolx

posted on 01 May 2014, 12:09 1

33. stealthd (Posts: 956; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


A+ business advice right here. Forget those crazy amounts of profit iOS devices bring in, just throw it all away.

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:13 6

4. fredmode01 (Posts: 18; Member since: 17 Jul 2012)


Bigger screen: + $100
Sapphire glass: + $100
(but hey, I could be wrong and it could be more lol)

That should make 16GB iPhone at $849.00 unlocked
Not expensive at ALL !! °_°

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:21 3

7. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 402; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


It doesn't work like that unless you live in a s**tty country like I do where you cant get the iphone on a contract and you have to sell your kidney to get one. Plus if it ever has a sapphire screen I would be more than happy to pay extra for a phone that has a screen thats almost impossible to scratch compared to crappy gorilla glass..

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:28 4

10. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


I wonder which s**tty country you're living. Just curious. :P

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:31

12. fredmode01 (Posts: 18; Member since: 17 Jul 2012)


No I live in France, and I don't buy anymore my phones on a contract.
I pay 20€ per month (unlimited phone calls, unlimited text messages, and 5Go of data, no contract), which is cheapper than having a 50€/24 monthes contract and getting a new subsidized phone.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:49 3

16. brrunopt (Posts: 504; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


oh poor blind guy , still think that contracts are cheaper ..
you end up paying twice as much for the phone, so instead of having to sell just 1 kidney you have to sell both ..

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:34 6

13. Anshulonweb (Posts: 314; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


waiting for Apple to use sapphire glass and start a trend in android manufacturer..... although I don't like apple but they always come up with something different and better even if it is just one thing.....iPhone 5s started fingerprint scanner and 64bit processors trend....let's see what apple comes up with this year...

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:49 3

18. vincelongman (Posts: 1152; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Vertu Constellation (Android) already uses sapphire glass

Also I'm not sure if I want sapphire glass, it will shatter much easier than gorilla/dragontrail glass

posted on 01 May 2014, 05:51

14. AstronautJones (Posts: 262; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


Could be a real interesting innovation. Not sure of value vs. added benefit. I never have had a problem with scratches, but it would be nice to not have that worry.
Now they just need water resistance.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:51

19. iampayne (Posts: 239; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


I would take water resistance over sapphire any day of the week.

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:29

29. papss (unregistered)


Why not both?

posted on 01 May 2014, 13:50 1

36. SamDroid (unregistered)


Both and you'd have an iPhone more expensive than a fricking wedding

posted on 01 May 2014, 12:58

34. KillgoreTroutTime (Posts: 283; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


I agree. I never put my phone in the same pocket as my keys just in case. It would be nice not to have to think about that every time I put my phone in my pocket.

posted on 01 May 2014, 06:10 3

15. D79_D79_ (Posts: 38; Member since: 19 Feb 2014)


I dont think it matters what glass iphones have, one drop and broken glass. Every iphone I see is broke.

posted on 02 May 2014, 07:17

42. givemespecs (unregistered)


mine isn't lol...but I guess you can't see it!

posted on 01 May 2014, 07:07

22. express77 (unregistered)


$1500 for 16 GB model.

posted on 01 May 2014, 10:57

31. berry889 (Posts: 23; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)


sapphire glass =/= actual sapphire

they are synthetically made in factory...

but still.... hard enough.....

posted on 01 May 2014, 18:09

38. sip1995 (Posts: 810; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


They're expensive too.

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