While the hardness of sapphires makes it great for a smartphone screen, it also makes it hard to cut the material. Apple will have to use strong, powerful lasers to cut the sapphire material to its specifications. The patent covers the process by which Apple grows and harvests the material, and polishes them. That also includes the use of lasers to cut them. The wafers are then decorated and cut into windows. Currently, Apple employs sapphire as a camera lens cover on the Apple iPhone 5s and as a protective glass to the TouchID fingerprint sensor on the same phone.
When decorating the polished sapphire wafers, they can be coated with the anti-fingerprint oleophobic covering, or covered with an ink mask for a printed circuit board.
source: USPTO via AppleInsider
an anti-fingerprint screen would be AMAZING.
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 1:01 AM 2
Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013
Hmmm. I see a potential disaster here. I believe Sapphire used for screens would be much more brittle than the glass currently used in most high end smartphones (pretty basic stuff here; increase hardness and it increases how brittle it is). We already have a problem with screens breaking because the glass is already too brittle. Now have a screen that's even more brittle and costs $350 to replace? Doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 6:18 AM 3
Posts: 201; Member since: May 03, 2013
Jedi, nexusphan has the right idea, just as tempered glass is strong enough for cars and strong enough to hold a AV receiver on glass stereo shelves, it shatters like nothing else, all it needs is the right tap, and knives hardened with titanium break if you drop them blade point first onto the ground unlike 440 steel which is abit more flexible on the breaking point. Harder glass is more brittle under the right circumstances, sapphire glass will have undergo all the stresses of clumsy everyday people in which another company has almost perfected like Gorilla glass, they have the right direction with hardness and flexibility which is crucial for something that is portable, just watch some vids on the next gen gorilla glass 3 on YouTube and lets try that on sapphire, for as thin as they have to make for the competition, they would be best if to layer it like safety glass.
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 9:22 AM 2
Posts: 30781; Member since: Feb 05, 2011
Trust me nothing much, he is not posting that in defense of Apple he is posting that to attack Apple. As I said before that this was Google or Samsung or LG he'd have no issue with it, but I do see your point. Also Apple is not investing in this because it is unbreakable, they're very aware that sapphire is not unbreakable. Apple is investing in this because it's a tough far more durable more scratch resistant glass. Everybody knows that if you drop a cell phone right on its face from the right height at the right angle the glass is going to break
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 12:12 PM 0
Posts: 1770; Member since: Oct 18, 2011
You're so paranoid, if anyone says anything slighting negative on an Apple article you go ballistic and think they are attacking them. He didn't even mention them specifically so stop being so sensitive, it's very annoying.
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 1:40 PM 4
"Sapphires are the second hardest material on earth after diamonds." I don't think that brittleness would be a problem here. Sapphire is still harder than glass regardless, so that property holds. Besides, sapphire usage in smartphones has a long history, and dates back to the early 2000s. A notable example would be in the Nokia 8800 Arte Editions. Apple has a good reason to use it and it makes sense.
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 9:09 AM 1
Posts: 201; Member since: May 03, 2013
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 9:30 AM 0
Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013
$2000 for iPhone 6 16GB. Damn! I still don't understand how you can get a patent for this. Eff this sh*t!
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 1:49 AM 2
Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 20, 2013
Stolen idea from Ubuntu touch project, well done!
posted on Jan 31, 2014, 4:24 AM 7
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