Apple never had sapphire plans for new iPhones, and here's why

Apple never had sapphire plans for new iPhones, and here's why
We all know that the rumor mill can very quickly take on a life of its own. There is a ton of information and speculation going around, and companies almost never comment on rumors, which really only serves to fuel the fires even more. This year, the biggest failed rumor was that of Apple's supposed plans to put sapphire glass on the new iPhones, and a new report claims that was a complete fabrication by the media.

Tim Bajarin of Time has talked to unnamed sources and concluded that sapphire was "never targeted for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus" and the possibility of sapphire in next year's iPhones "hasn't even been decided yet." As much as the rumor mill hyped it up, Bajarin goes on to list the numerous reasons why sapphire was actually a terrible idea all along. Sapphire glass is thicker and heavier than the competition; it takes 100 times more energy to produce; it would "add at least $100 to the base cost" of an iPhone; it doesn't absorb impacts as well, and is more likely to break when dropped, despite being better with scratch resistance; and, it would hurt battery because it doesn't let as much light through, and would require higher average brightness. 

That's a pretty solid list of reasons why sapphire is a bad idea right now, but they are all reasons that were ignored in favor of the exciting idea of a new material, and the rash of patents Apple has filed related to sapphire glass. Apple is obviously still putting resources towards sapphire R&D, and is using the material for both the TouchID cover and the Apple Watch, but putting it in an iPhone is an idea that is untenable right now. 

source: Time via AppleInsider

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26 Comments

1. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

" using the material for both the TouchID cover and **select, higher priced versions of** the Apple watch"

11. engineer-1701d unregistered

that's all a big fat LIE, saphire is thinner and lighter and has a higher clarity then glass as for the drop and shatter part i herd they had problems with that, but kyociera has no problems with it unless you drop it on the screen on rocks with no bezel protection

20. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No, it's not. Sapphire is less clear, and needs to be significantly thicker to match the shatter resistance of Gorilla Glass.

24. cheetah2k

Posts: 2297; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

TBH there was so much hype on the iphone 6 in the lead up to release, its a bit of a major let down.. also, "We all know that the rumor mill can very quickly take on a life of its own." well well well... you guys are the biggest pot stirrer of them all. lol

2. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Oh, that's why?

14. tricky

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Pretty much all BS. There is only one simple reason. It is because it will eat into their profit margins. Kyocera Brigadier already has Sapphire glass display for $400 off contract. Apple has enough money, power, and expertise to make it happen if they truly wanted it.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5750; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, I remember watching a video from a major sapphire manufacterer, they claimed they charged ~$30 for a ~5" plane, they said the price is reducing and they will probably charge ~$15-20 by this year Still a lot more than Gorilla glass, which is ~$3, but not as much Bajarin claimed

23. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

Like replacing stolen phones, screen replacements are a source of profits for phone companies.

3. vishalaestro

Posts: 81; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

then what did MKBHD showed in his video of iphone 6 display

6. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Probably a prototype of the screen that Apple didn't know if they want to use it or not.

7. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

the sapphire glass is available, as a 3rd party replacement, for various devices, and especially for most of high end smartphones. Probably he or someone replaced the original glass. Is even available for relatively cheap watches (say, Seiko Monster) that does not come with it - high end ones usually have Sapphire glass. Interesting thing here, on mechanical watches reviews Sapphire is regarded as having higher transparency than the usual tempered glass... you may check the article below tough, things are not as they seems, it seems. :D

16. younger06

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 06, 2014

I have a few Omega watches and they have Sapphire Crystal, not a scratch on any of them in 15 years of wear.

9. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I think he later scratched the $&*# out of it with sandpaper didn't he?

4. Eonnaydra

Posts: 217; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

They wanna put in on 6S and call it a revolutionary thing !

5. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

something interesting to read, related to this. The things are not quite as they seems ;)http://www.cultofmac.com/269215/corning-unclear-sapphire-iphones/

8. troutsy

Posts: 383; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

So when I said all of this a year ago, I didn't get nearly enough thumbs up...

10. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I and many other posters on this site use those exacts arguments to express that Sapphire on phones was a bad idea..... but blind followers never listen... The same reason that the ASF (anti shatter film) was a great idea on older Sony Xperia phones, but people criticized it enough to make Sony remove them from newer devices... my co-worker recently bought an Xperia ZR coming from an Xperia Arc which had the whole body shattered and missing pieces from the phone, but somehow the Screen was still intact, it look like Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of Terminator 2.... And I know that this can be attribute to the ASF found on her phone... I will get the Z3 Compact, but I am one of the few who is sad that Sony is not including the ASF anymore...

12. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

This is PBS as in Pure ** and CYA by Apple executives It was their intention to use Sapphire, now having dropped Sapphire, misplaces the Gorilla, this is a face saving exercise as prices have gone up but recognised protection is missing So a "un named source has run over to Tim Bajarin of Time so pre-empt criticism maybe instead of going to TIME the "unnamed" sources should have headed to phonearena where they might have been questioned instead of submitting a prepared document There is thishttp://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-receives-patent-for-sapphire-glass_id52043 and thishttp://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-receives-patent-for-sapphire-glass_id52043 Apple pay is nothing more than a payment stream for Apple the iPhone 6 does not even upgrade the iPhone5 for those at the end of a 2 year contract

13. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

My bad oops still haven't really figured out cut & paste I have duplicated the link in the above, here is the second url from 13/09/2014 It would appear used one excuse now total denial,http://www.phonearena.com/news/Original-plans-called-for-a-sapphire-display-on-both-new-Apple-iPhone-6-models_id60667

17. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

Pretty sure more than a few of us had already outlined these reasons why it was unlikely to happen too soon.

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 31599; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Smart move Apple, do it when it's good to go.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So basically all the things we've been saying since the rumors started.

25. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Stupid move by Apple, got the chance to earn more big bucks and they just let it go. iZombies would buy any crap Apple release, doesnt matter if it cost 200 bucks more or just last for halfe day. They would still believe Apple will fix with new incremental updates. Ot they just wallhugging, that they already used too. Really really stupid move Apple.

26. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

now it is a bad idea. lol. iReasons.

27. vhammoudeh

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

That is typical Apple fans logic, once the rumors started they were all, "the next iPhone will have sapphire display, it is the best", and now when it turned out that the glass is not sapphire, all they say is "it makes sense not to use sapphire, it is not as good as the not-gorilla ion hardened glass"... its really amusing stuff to read

28. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

When I was in Media, stories circulated around rumors but, we were very careful to not let inaccuracies emerge by speculation. Sites like this and others should feel embarrassed by allowing themselves to be set up like this. Littering the site with news of a company that holds only 12.7% world wide marketshare and based on secrecy, will increase the chances of bogus articles, editorials and accuracy. This is where Media loses its reputation. It maybe fun to guess but, in the end, this makes Apple and the Media look bad. John B.

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