The new material: sapphire to come where there was plastic and glass in smartphones before

The new material: sapphire to come where there was plastic and glass in smartphones before
Sapphire is the new glass. Not exactly, but where glass and plastic ruled supreme, this relatively new material for smartphones is getting more recognition with the Apple iPhone 5s and its sapphire-covered home key leading the way. Other companies will use sapphire too in their smartphones and it will become more popular in the near future, according to research from IHS.

Sapphire is the world’s second-hardest stone after diamond and is used to cover camera lenses, buttons and displays. Sapphire ingots are measured by the kilometer, and the increased use in electronics has contributed to a massive spike in demand. From 32 kilometers in 2012, by the end of this year total demand is expected to reach 54 kilometers. And by 2016 that number will grow even higher to a whopping 84 kilometers.

Sapphire is mostly used for LEDs, but its use in smartphones is expected to grow from 5% of the total demand to a whopping 20% in 2014.

Now, sapphire is touted to be more scratch resistant than glass and generally a stronger material. Corning however challenges that with its Gorilla Glass 3 technology as it claims it has achieved similar and even better scratch resistance. Either way, sapphire is the new material used in Apple’s home key to protect the fingerprint scanner, and it’s also on smartphone camera lenses.

source: CNET



1. ScottSchneider

Posts: 336; Member since: Dec 06, 2011

Yeah Yeah... Once Apple has it... Everyone will have it...

2. Kitkat_4.4

Posts: 74; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

It was first decided that it will be implemented on ubuntu edge. Too bad that project didn't got refunds. Now apple implemented this on their phones. So I wouldn't really call it copy from apple, but rather apple copied from ubuntu edge.

4. Sauce unregistered

Apple and other tech firms (big and small) have been using it for quite some time.

10. Kitkat_4.4

Posts: 74; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

You do know we are talking about smartphones here?

20. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Yeah, they have been used in the super high-end smartphones (Vertu) for a while. And apple and a few others have been using it in their camera lenses since before the ubuntu edge even became a thing. But you could just make stuff up.

7. Beijendorf unregistered

Nobody copied anyone. All major firms are looking to implement the newer technologies, but some choose to wait until that technology has matured and/or is cheaper. Sapphire is more fragile than Gorilla Glass, meaning worse for drops. Apple may get away with fragile phones while Nokia would face a hellstorm for losing their durability reputation.

12. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Apple copied a product that does not exist?

14. techaman unregistered

what do you mean by this. apple since the day mac made something bought and stole and copied patents in the 70's and 80's that's how all tech company's work on that case i loved apple before all the law suits now i would not be caught dead with any apple device.

18. Kitkat_4.4

Posts: 74; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Oh just shut the hell up with that comment/thinking. It is copied means it is copied. It was a project which didn't saw the day of light doesn't mean someone who actually used it didn't copy.

21. bigstrudel

Posts: 604; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

The Ubuntu Edge was.....uh never released. So yeah.

3. raunak

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 12, 2011

I think 920 had it too, on its back, around camera because people complained about 900 getting easily scratched around camera. I might be wrong though.

5. raunak

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 12, 2011

Here, "...outstanding, sturdy build quality, which includes a sapphire coating on all of the external buttons and the frame around the camera lens."

9. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

i believe ceramic / zirconium element is used at the 920 buttons and back plate for camera

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5717; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also Vertu (which was apart of Nokia) has been using sapphire instead of gorilla glass for years

8. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

The argument of copying is pointless. If no one was allowed to copy, we wouldn't have smartphones and everyone would be stuck on the traditional dialer phone. It's not like Apple doesn't do it anyways: look at the notification bar, big screens and Samsung's tacky plastic.

23. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

good any of u nerds own a real WATCH?!?!?!? most wathces have a saphire crystal , NOT glass, covering the face. sad day when, i ask 4 the time and everyone looks @ a damn phone....... its a watch people, buy a decent one and u might actully GET LAID fo once.....christ......(sigh)

6. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Yes, bring it on...

13. Dunknown

Posts: 84; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Nokia had it long time ago. It is only used in its luxury brand vertu. Check it out. It is a phone worth for investing as it's value will rise with the diamond or gold or anything on that phone which are valuable

19. PK1983

Posts: 215; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

The precious metals and stones in the Vertu phones are worth something, but the phone as a whole is not, and the "bling" is worth nowhere near what you pay for the phone.

15. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

i hate calling other companies copying apple, just say the word " following"

16. k4j98

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 12, 2012

Well that's going to be pricey.

17. qwertypoor

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

Nokia oro looking it up

22. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

Doesn't LG G2 also carry sapphire crystal w/ anti smudge coating on it to cover the camera lens? How did PA fail to keep that in mind?

24. justsayit

Posts: 256; Member since: May 09, 2013

vertu also sapphire glass lg g2 also has sapphire glass for protect the camera lens why only iphone5s mentions in this article? iphxnearena?

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