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.