Is an iPhone 6 with a sapphire display coming?


Apple has now for the first time started shipping sapphire from its plant in Arizona to suppliers in China, according to a new UBS Research report, and whispers once again point out that those sapphire panels could appear on the next iPhone.

Apple opened a sapphire plant in Arizona a few months ago in collaboration with GT Advanced Technologies, and actual sapphire production started last month, in line with earlier initial plans. UBS estimates there were just 100 sapphire furnaces running last quarter, and 400 to 500 more are to be installed in the first quarter of 2014, and then another 900 to 1000 in the second trimester.

Apple currently uses sapphire to cover the lens on the iPhone 5s camera, as well as for the home button. With such large capacity, though, rumors are that Apple will use sapphire for the display of the iPhone 6, in place of the current Corning Gorilla Glass cover. Sapphire is said to have better physical properties, being less prone to damage and tougher to break.

Another analyst, Matt Margolis, estimates that Apple is actually ahead of schedule with sapphire production and its plant will run at full capacity even sooner since most of the furnaces were shipped in the December to February time frame. Interestingly, Apple is also allegedly buying sapphire from the GT Arizona plant at prices some 25% lower than what it pays to other vendors.

Speculations also run rampant about what additional benefits these sapphire panels might bring. We’ve heard suggestions (and seen patents) about sapphire being used with solar panels, so that your iPhone could recharge itself on the sun. Sapphire is also rumored to be used in the alleged Apple iWatch. Is any of those rumors true, though? Only time will tell, but one thing that seems certain is that Apple will be using more and more of sapphire, the world’s second hardest material after diamond, in its devices.



source: UBS Research via 9to5Mac

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iPhone 6
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  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
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  • Storage 128 GB
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43 Comments

1. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

I doubt it's going to be practically any better than Samsung great S5's screen.

6. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

You do realise it has nothing to do with how good the screen looks or anything to do with screen technology? Its the glass that protects the screen BELOW it.. P.S. Sapphire is the hardest thing on earth to scratch after diamonds. So if it ever happens it will put your gorilla glass to shame.

9. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

*ON TOP OF it

11. SamDroid unregistered

Let me break down what he's saying for you, coz its like you didn't understand his post.... Will it affect the viewing angles of the display? Will its sunlight legibility have issues? Will it maybe somehow affect the overall quality of the screen? Will it make the phone cost even more than its obviously worth? Maybe Apple tested it and know the answers to these questions but when a guy asks its not a crime.

17. iampayne

Posts: 322; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

He didn't ask a question he made a statement just FYI

30. PressStart

Posts: 119; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

"I doubt..." = questioning

39. Blaze.Infernus

Posts: 16; Member since: May 01, 2014

What? No it doesn't. Doubt means possessing disbelief/skepticism. One can have disbelief of something while no longer questioning it, the questioning can be finished and the doubt is the result. One can require and lead to the other, but they're not the same thing. That was clearly a statement, not a question. Question: do you not understand logic and the rules of the English language? Statement: I doubt that you do. See?

41. givemespecs unregistered

"I doubt" = statement, unless of course there's a question mark at the end!!

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

It's important to note that sapphire glass will shatter much easier than gorilla/dragontrail glass IMO I want a gorilla/dragontrail glass on top of a flexible OLED screen, and then I would install a sapphire glass screen protector, for max protection

23. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

But Apple is now in the business of glass repair and guess who can't repair Sapphire glass... All third party repair shops. Apple doesn't do s**t to benefit consumers, only fanboys still believe that. They'll market the hell out of the word sapphire to lure in idiots and then when it breaks just as easily they're the only ones that can fix it. Easiest way to make money is to get idiots to buy proprietary crap that is prone to breaking.

27. papss unregistered

First rule of any business is to make money.. The only reason any company cares or does anything for said customer is if its going to make them money

35. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

And how do you make money? By providing consumers with the products and services that they demand. Capitalism is great, isn't it? Desire for profit becomes moral.

32. Immolate

Posts: 310; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

I'd rather gouge my eyes out with rusty pitchforks than say anything nice about Apple, but I think that obviously, if Apple began using artificially-created sapphire screens for the i6, people who broke them and didn't want to pay unconscionably high prices for a replacement would simply purchase a standard gorilla glass screen from a third party as a replacement. If sapphire "glass" does turn out to be more brittle than the Corning product, what do you want to bet that there will be a strong third party market to "upgrade" the i6? Remember, advanced glass products combine hardness with flexibility. I'm not sure how flexible industrial sapphire is, but I assume it's not very.

24. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

What I actually was talking about is how practically useful this thing is compared to the S5. I mean, a diamond hard glass will be retarded when you still have a mere 200ppi and a price 10000 times higher than competiton. Plus I would doubt that it will put GG into shame. This is just a thin filament of Sapphire.

26. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

GG willl put sapphire to shame on the drop test. it comes down to which you think is a bigger problem- scratches or cracks? personally I hear a lot more people complaining about cracked screens, and sapphire will be easier to crack.

28. papss unregistered

GG will put my wallet to shame

25. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

u just prove how "advance" and "geek" samsung user are with this comment

43. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

That is because you have a fan boy avatar.

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Apple should get rid of iOS lol.

3. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Sure, that will happen, when pigs fly. :)

5. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

lol :)

8. Jishnusur

Posts: 175; Member since: Oct 07, 2013

That's why Swineflu! :P

21. express77 unregistered

iFlu.

37. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Give them some Red bull...

40. Arthurhkt

Posts: 727; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Or, Elephant climb the tree, lolx

33. stealthd unregistered

A+ business advice right here. Forget those crazy amounts of profit iOS devices bring in, just throw it all away.

4. fredmode01

Posts: 19; Member since: Jul 17, 2012

Bigger screen: + $100 Sapphire glass: + $100 (but hey, I could be wrong and it could be more lol) That should make 16GB iPhone at $849.00 unlocked Not expensive at ALL !! °_°

7. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

It doesn't work like that unless you live in a s**tty country like I do where you cant get the iphone on a contract and you have to sell your kidney to get one. Plus if it ever has a sapphire screen I would be more than happy to pay extra for a phone that has a screen thats almost impossible to scratch compared to crappy gorilla glass..

10. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

I wonder which s**tty country you're living. Just curious. :P

12. fredmode01

Posts: 19; Member since: Jul 17, 2012

No I live in France, and I don't buy anymore my phones on a contract. I pay 20€ per month (unlimited phone calls, unlimited text messages, and 5Go of data, no contract), which is cheapper than having a 50€/24 monthes contract and getting a new subsidized phone.

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