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The new material: sapphire to come where there was plastic and glass in smartphones before

Posted: , by Victor H.

The new material: sapphire to come where there was plastic and glass in smartphones before
Sapphire is the new glass. Not exactly, but where glass and plastic ruled supreme, this relatively new material for smartphones is getting more recognition with the Apple iPhone 5s and its sapphire-covered home key leading the way. Other companies will use sapphire too in their smartphones and it will become more popular in the near future, according to research from IHS.

Sapphire is the world’s second-hardest stone after diamond and is used to cover camera lenses, buttons and displays. Sapphire ingots are measured by the kilometer, and the increased use in electronics has contributed to a massive spike in demand. From 32 kilometers in 2012, by the end of this year total demand is expected to reach 54 kilometers. And by 2016 that number will grow even higher to a whopping 84 kilometers.

Sapphire is mostly used for LEDs, but its use in smartphones is expected to grow from 5% of the total demand to a whopping 20% in 2014.

Now, sapphire is touted to be more scratch resistant than glass and generally a stronger material. Corning however challenges that with its Gorilla Glass 3 technology as it claims it has achieved similar and even better scratch resistance. Either way, sapphire is the new material used in Apple’s home key to protect the fingerprint scanner, and it’s also on smartphone camera lenses.

source: CNET

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posted on 15 Oct 2013, 03:56 3

1. ScottSchneider (Posts: 330; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)

Yeah Yeah... Once Apple has it... Everyone will have it...

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:05 13

2. Kitkat_4.4 (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)

It was first decided that it will be implemented on ubuntu edge. Too bad that project didn't got refunds. Now apple implemented this on their phones.

So I wouldn't really call it copy from apple, but rather apple copied from ubuntu edge.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:13 4

4. Sauce (unregistered)

Apple and other tech firms (big and small) have been using it for quite some time.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 05:13 4

10. Kitkat_4.4 (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)

You do know we are talking about smartphones here?

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 12:50

20. a_merryman (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

Yeah, they have been used in the super high-end smartphones (Vertu) for a while. And apple and a few others have been using it in their camera lenses since before the ubuntu edge even became a thing. But you know...you could just make stuff up.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:23 6

7. Beijendorf (Posts: 336; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)

Nobody copied anyone. All major firms are looking to implement the newer technologies, but some choose to wait until that technology has matured and/or is cheaper.

Sapphire is more fragile than Gorilla Glass, meaning worse for drops. Apple may get away with fragile phones while Nokia would face a hellstorm for losing their durability reputation.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 05:22 2

12. therealestmc (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

Apple copied a product that does not exist?

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 07:27

14. techaman (unregistered)

what do you mean by this. apple since the day mac made something bought and stole and copied patents in the 70's and 80's that's how all tech company's work on that case i loved apple before all the law suits now i would not be caught dead with any apple device.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 10:51

18. Kitkat_4.4 (Posts: 74; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)

Oh just shut the hell up with that comment/thinking. It is copied means it is copied. It was a project which didn't saw the day of light doesn't mean someone who actually used it didn't copy.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 19:22

21. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

The Ubuntu Edge was.....uh never released. So yeah.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:10 4

3. raunak (Posts: 507; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)

I think 920 had it too, on its back, around camera because people complained about 900 getting easily scratched around camera. I might be wrong though.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:14 1

5. raunak (Posts: 507; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)

Here, "...outstanding,
sturdy build quality, which
includes a sapphire coating on all
of the external buttons and the
frame around the camera lens."


posted on 15 Oct 2013, 05:13

9. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1163; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)

i believe ceramic / zirconium element is used at the 920 buttons and back plate for camera

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 05:20 1

11. vincelongman (Posts: 3480; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

Also Vertu (which was apart of Nokia) has been using sapphire instead of gorilla glass for years

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:27 2

8. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)

The argument of copying is pointless. If no one was allowed to copy, we wouldn't have smartphones and everyone would be stuck on the traditional dialer phone.

It's not like Apple doesn't do it anyways: look at the notification bar, big screens and Samsung's tacky plastic.

posted on 16 Oct 2013, 04:23

23. reckless562 (banned) (Posts: 1153; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)

good lord.......do any of u nerds own a real WATCH?!?!?!? most wathces have a saphire crystal , NOT glass, covering the face. sad day when, i ask 4 the time and everyone looks @ a damn phone....... its a watch people, buy a decent one and u might actully GET LAID fo once.....christ......(sigh)

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:15

6. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3690; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Yes, bring it on...

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 05:35 1

13. Dunknown (Posts: 84; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

Nokia had it long time ago. It is only used in its luxury brand vertu. Check it out. It is a phone worth for investing as it's value will rise with the diamond or gold or anything on that phone which are valuable

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 11:45

19. PK1983 (Posts: 215; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)

The precious metals and stones in the Vertu phones are worth something, but the phone as a whole is not, and the "bling" is worth nowhere near what you pay for the phone.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 07:36

15. rantao333 (Posts: 320; Member since: 21 May 2013)

i hate calling other companies copying apple, just say the word " following"

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 08:07

16. k4j98 (Posts: 60; Member since: 12 Jul 2012)

Well that's going to be pricey.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 10:44

17. qwertypoor (Posts: 72; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)

Nokia oro looking it up

posted on 16 Oct 2013, 00:56 1

22. vishu9 (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)

Doesn't LG G2 also carry sapphire crystal w/ anti smudge coating on it to cover the camera lens? How did PA fail to keep that in mind?

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 08:14

24. justsayit (Posts: 256; Member since: 09 May 2013)

vertu also sapphire glass
lg g2 also has sapphire glass for protect the camera lens

why only iphone5s mentions in this article? iphxnearena?

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