Apple may not have a sapphire glass on its smartphones, but one of its suppliers does


Well, sapphire has certainly been a buzzword this past year – especially since there were so many rumors suggesting that the iPhone 6 and / or iPhone 6 Plus would bear sapphire-shielded glass panels for screens. Well, the iPhone 6 announcement has come and gone, and there was no sapphire in sight. In recent months, details around the drama between Apple, GTAT, and their sapphire-production deal came to light, and it generally is not a pretty one – one party bit more than it could chew, the other – wanted what it had bargained for.

Now, we may not know if the iPhone 7 (or 6s, or whatever they choose to call it) will bear the nigh unscratchable shielding, but we do know that a number of smartphone manufacturers have jumped on the sapphire wave of fame and are either working towards introducing flagships with the sturdy material, or have already released a special edition of their top-shelf offering, or just specialize in rugged phones bearing sapphire glass.

So, whenever a new manufacturer takes the stage and says "Hey, our X smartphone now has sapphire glass on the front", it's not really a surprise anymore, not really, but it still is exciting, as the material is still far, far from being mainstream. It's even more interesting when said manufacturer is an Apple supplier – not for irony's sake, but for the sheer coincidence... OK, maybe there's some ironic value to be found in there, too.

Anyway, the slinger in question is called "Desay" – a China-based company, which lends one of its many businesses – namely, its battery manufacturing branch – to Apple. It is, of course, unknown what exactly the batteries from Desay are used for – laptops, tablets, smartphones, or all of the above – just in case you were wondering.

So, Desay has announced its own smartphone, dubbed Magical Mirror X5. We don't know much about its hardware, besides the fact that it sports a 13 MP / 5 MP camera combo and a quad-core, MediaTek-made CPU, and, of course, sports sapphire protection. In fact, the company calls it an "indestructible" smartphone.

The Magical Mirror X5 is priced at around $160 (999 Yuan) and will be sold in limited numbers only, so good luck trying to get to one, if you were planning on it. With such an aggressive pricing, it seems the company is trying to get its brand name noticed more than actually turning up profits, so we may expect some more and easier to access products in the future, we'd wager.

As far as the Magical Mirror goes – it's promoted in a rather cringe-worthy ad, which you can watch below. Basically, a woman scorned by the fact that her boyfriend's phone is apparently turned off attempts to destroy the Magical Mirror by scratching it with whatever objects she finds in her bag, until ultimately deciding to toss it in a chestnut roasting machine of sorts. Some time after, the phone rings and lo and behold – it's the guy. The phone comes out of all the tortures being absolutely spotless and the girl seems to be super glad to have invested in such a sturdy device. What's the overarching caption, Desay – "This phone is so secure that you don't have to be"?

But we digress. Sorry if we spoiled the whole video for you, but hey – just in case it doesn't buffer – you at least know that it has a happy ending, right?


source: WSJ

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8 Comments

1. MahmoudHamsharii

Posts: 70; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

So if it had, what would the cost be?

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Add up to two times the actual retail cost of phone in the story. Apple would have simply hosed its customers an been advertising it like we could live on the moon today an commute with their product of course.

2. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Such a big deal about nothing. First these companies aren't using real sapphire. They are using a process like what many diamond maker do. They have a machine that takes a small piece of the real material and they use it as a seed. They use a pressure chamber and other chemicals to try to mimic what the earth does naturally to produce the same thing. They end up with a product that is similar in composition, but is not the real McCoy. Its cheaper than the real thing, but the cost is increased because the production process is very costly. The problem with this sapphire stuff is it harder. So ye it will be just as scratch resistant vs other options, but it wont be scratch-proof and it still will break. The harder the glass the easier to break. Several companies have commented on that as being fact. The sapphire glass can and still will break because it is harder and the harder glass is the easier to shatter. The only defense is to layer it with another material. A 100% sapphire glass panel for a phone is about $30 but Apple for sure would charge 100's for it. It more hype than usefulness.

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Are you actually thinking Apple is doing this for the consumer good? Scratches on glass were never an issue for anyone. Broken screens though are big business, one that Apple just got into. Just....the problem is they're the more expensive option for the same service. So how do you kill the competition? You replace the cheaply available glass with a more brittle (prone to breaking) alternative which has a very favorable connotation in name only.

4. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I'm actually surprised that Apple does not market a sapphire screen protector for around $200-300?

6. pixel8or

Posts: 83; Member since: Jun 10, 2010

Well, I at least enjoyed the guitar solo.

7. Billajr

Posts: 42; Member since: Jun 15, 2014

Kyocera's new Dura Scout will have sapphire.

8. Limbopope

Posts: 63; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

What the hell is that woman wearing in the gym?! Looks like pants made from an exercise ball.

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