Sapphire glass may be used in 2014 iPhone Retina display, sources say

“Apple is expected to extend the use of sapphire glass home keys to its new 9.7-inch iPad and 7.9-inch iPad mini to be launched in October, and possibly further adopt sapphire for making touch screen covers for its new iPhone to be launched in 2014, according to Taiwan-based sapphire makers,” Julian Ho and Adam Hwang report for DigiTimes.

“Apple first adopted sapphire to make covers of iPhone 5 cameras and now the material is also used in making covers of iPhone 5S finger print-recognizing home keys, the sources noted,” Ho and Hwang report.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.”for the heads up.]


    1. The article says the material would cost about 5x as much. Another article say about $30 or maybe $20 for Sapphire.

      I’d happily pay an extra $27 to have a screen that won’t crack or shatter. That would make liquid the only real remaining threat.

      1. Sapphire is quite brittle and will crack and shatter much easier than glass.

        Hardness and strongness should not be confused. High hardness makes materials very scratch resistant, but oftentimes such materials brittle much easier.

        Apple’s patent to deal with brittleness issue is to make sapphire crystal layer super-super thin and “glue” it upon glass. The thinner the brittle layer is, the lesser brittleness plays out. And the backing glass also helps to keep sapphire in place.

        Also, of course, glass is much cheaper than sapphire, so this is another reason to make not whole cover of sapphire, but only a layer on top of glass.

        But even is such solution sapphire is too pricey, so I am not sure that this solution will be ever used. Besides, there is no significant issue with scratches on Gorilla 2 glass that is used. It is not hard enough only for highly specific uses such as camera or touch sensor cover — and this is where sapphire plays role.

      2. People don’t understand how jealously Apple guards every last penny of manufacturing costs. For Apple to add $20 to the cost, they’d be looking to sell for $40 more, and that would be a major deal, that they wouldn’t do it unless it seriously improved the utility and saleability of the product.

        Now in all honesty, how many people have got scratched screens on their IOS device? I don’t have any, or at least any that I’ve noticed.

        I’m also pretty skeptical they can make an iphone sized sapphire for $20, and do it in the quantities required. This is not going to happen.

  1. Gorrilla glass 3 is better than Sapphire glass in every aspect except for scratch resistance but Sapphire also costs 10 times as much. Why would Apple change to Sapphire? Makes no sense.

      1. Since most sapphire comparisons have been made against Gorilla Glass 2 and not Gorilla Glass 3, I’d bite my tongue until we see updated comparisons.

        Gorilla Glass 3 is supposed to be three times as strong as Gorilla Glass 2, putting on par with sapphire. However, it’s still not nearly as scratch resistant,

  2. It’s not going to happen.

    It’s a ridiculous projection, just because they have implemented realistic uses for Transparent Aluminum Oxide, on two surfaces, does not mean they can do the same for something 20 times larger.

    There is no way they will incur 5x costs on a component, even if it means $27 for production , to have such a display. The only way they could do it, is produce a completely new model, with a completely new price paradigm, which allows them to maintain their 30%+ profit margin. IE: An ultra luxury phone, with technology you can’t think of yet.

    Maybe a military spec iPhone, which costs $2K, that this could be considered.

  3. Like Gollum wrote: no way. Sapphire costs way too much for such a huge area. The virtues would benefit only people who put their iPhones in the same pocket they keep their car keys and other metal objects. For the rest of us who treat their iPhones—even those with chemically surface hardened Gorilla Glass—with a modicum of care, sapphire brings no added value.

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