Apple patent application details uses for synthetic sapphire glass

“An Apple patent application describing a method of mounting sapphire to an electronic device was discovered on Thursday, with example implementations possibly revealing how the company plans to employ the exotic material in future products,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Apple’s patent application for ‘Attachment techniques’ detailing various methods in which sapphire can be securely fastened to an electronic device,” Campbell reports. “For example, Apple notes sapphire may be attached to a portable device frame as a cover glass for a display. Current iPhones use Corning’s Gorilla Glass to protect the important component from scratches and damage, but it is possible that Apple may be looking to incorporate sapphire in future versions of the smartphone. While aluminosilicate glass solutions like Gorilla Glass perform well, certain advanced sapphire laminates can be even more resistant to daily wear and tear. ”

“Sapphire was first used in the iPhone 5 when Apple applied the hard material as a lens cover for the handset’s rear-facing camera. With the current iPhone 5s, sapphire plays a more critical (and functional) role as the cover glass for Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor,” Campbell reports. “In November of 2013, crystal growth and solutions firm GT Advanced Technologies announced it had signed a $578 million contract to provide Apple with advanced sapphire products, almost guaranteeing future iDevice products will incorporate the material in some capacity.”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple partner GT Advanced recruiting for Jobs at Arizona sapphire plant – January 21, 2014
Apple patent application reveals sapphire flexible transparent display devices created with Liquidmetal – December 19, 2013
iPhone 6 rumors: Curved display, Liquidmetal, sapphire glass, and more – December 11, 2013
Apple spends over half a billion dollars on rumored iPhone 6 sapphire glass feature – November 29, 2013
Arizona OKs tax break for Apple sapphire glass plant – November 20, 2013
Incentives to lure Apple’s sapphire glass plant to Arizona revealed – November 19, 2013
Analyst: Sapphire likely to be used in new small form factor Apple device (Think iWatch) – November 8, 2013
GTAT able to supply sapphire for over 30 million iPhone screen covers due to Apple funding – November 8, 2013
Apple’s iPhone 6 could feature unmatched sapphire glass display – November 7, 2013
Why Apple’s new sapphire manufacturing agreement is a big deal – November 7, 2013
GT Advanced Technologies spikes on sapphire deal with Apple – November 5, 2013
Apple expands ‘Made in USA’ efforts with sapphire glass factory in Arizona, creating over 2,000 jobs – November 4, 2013
Apple strikes sapphire supply deal with GT Advanced – November 4, 2013
Gorilla glass maker Corning enters into strategic partnership with Samsung Display – October 23, 2013
Sapphire glass may be used in 2014 iPhone Retina display, sources say – September 18, 2013
Vertu COO: Apple investigated sapphire crystal displays, but found them infeasible at this time – June 13, 2013
Corning’s Gorilla Glass vs. sapphire for mobile touch displays – May 28, 2013
Apple’s next iPhone screen could be made of Sapphire – May 2, 2013
Steve Jobs, steel balls and Corning’s Gorilla Glass (with video) – January 11, 2013


  1. By the by, does anyone know the relative cost of saphire glass v gorilla glass?
    I should imagine 30m plus iPhones account for several tones of the suff just for lens covers. Are the milling trimmings recoverable and reusable?

  2. That’s because – unlike the universe, iProducts aren’t created in 7 days.

    I’m pretty sure there is more $$$$ spent on figuring out how to make an iPhone then the device itself.

    Just as the advances in tech that led us to the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad – there is a whole new crop of things we haven’t even imagined being invented, patented, developed, engineered and produced in some way by apple.

    No other company, group, organization can come close to doing what Apple does on the scale it does time after time. And do it with the money they earned – not awarded..


    1. I agree, although I mistakenly gave one star by accident; I couldn’t add more, sorry.
      What I would dearly love to see with the iP6 is a Liquidmetal frame, sapphire glass front and rear, with a size around five inches, and 128Gb of storage.
      Just about perfection, as far as I’m concerned.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.