Why Apple might use sapphire over glass in new iPhone display

“On Sept. 9, Apple is expected to announce its newest iPhone,” Katherine Boehret reports for Re/code. “The rumor mills continue to churn out lists of features that the phone will offer, but the one that keeps cropping up is about this new phone’s screen.”

“Will its screen be made of sapphire rather than glass?” Boehret reports. “We smartphone owners don’t know a whole lot about the materials that make up the shiny surfaces on our devices.”

“To learn more, I talked with sapphire makers, like Kyocera, and glass makers, like Corning,” Boehret reports. “I compiled five questions and answers so you’re a little smarter about what’s breaking when you drop your phone on concrete… Sapphire displays and new types of glass surfaces could mean fewer shattered phones, fewer replacements and happier users.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. I should start a rumor that the new iPhone will have a display made of sugar glass (stunt bottles in movies), to make replacements a lot cheaper.

    See how many pundits run with it, and how long before Samsung comes out with their new phone feature.

  2. There’s far too many uneducated guesses about what Apple is going to have on the iPhone. No one knows about G.T. Advanced sapphire capacity or whether Apple has created some laminated sapphire-glass hybrid display. Everything is pure speculation. As @Spark said, it’s all about the clicks and non of it is substance.

  3. From the MIT research article cited in the linked Re/code article:
    “Ted Smick, vice president of equipment engineering at GT, says the next step is to engineer a system to automate the handling of sapphire wafers in a way that makes sapphire sheets at a fast rate. He estimates that designing and implementing such a process will take about nine months.”

    Apple signed the deal with sapphire maker GTAT in November. This is August. That’s nine months.

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