Categories: Tech & Trends

Apple’s iPhone 6 and its much talked Sapphire display

Apple surely knows how to make people talk about their upcoming products. iPhone 6 is just couple of weeks away and all sorts of rumors are keeping technology lovers hooked to the much anticipated event.

One thing is quite evident that the new iPhones will integrate some new preventive display technology and this has made Sapphire the talk of the town as Apple is expected to introduce iPhone 6 in two screen sizes- 4.7 and 5.5 inch with Sapphire screen panels. Lets check out what is all this buzz about the Apple’s Sapphire panels.

The bling of Sapphire
Sapphire is not new; it is the most preferable material in manufacturing the glasses of fancy watches, camera lenses and jewelry products. Apple is also using this premium material in small quantities in the camera sensors and Touch ID home button of iPhone 5S. But now Apple has decided to go one step ahead with the integration of Sapphire in their mobile displays.

But why the Cupertino tech giant is implementing this new technology and what challenges it can pose to the current leader in display technology- Corning’s Gorilla Glass.

The Apple Sapphire blend
The first thing you come across on a smartphone is its screen. You stick screen guards to protect it from that ugly scratches and also pack them in cases so that it does not shatter on fall. Wouldn’t it be a relief if the screen of your smartphone will be scratch proof? Not even a knife or a stone can affect it. You must be thinking that Gorilla Glass is already there for all this, but how many of you are actually using your phones without screen protectors?

That’s what Apple is expected to change with the implementation of Sapphire. The material is four times harder than glass and known as the next hardest material after diamond with a rating of 9 on Mohs scale (Gorilla Glass is ~7), means no more scratches from the car keys and coins in your pocket. Another distinctive property of this material is its compressive strength (2,000 Mega Pascal) which is about ten times that of stainless steel.

However that’s only one side of the coin. The biggest hurdle of implementing Sapphire displays on the new iPhone would be its costly manufacturing process. Producing Sapphire in same quantity as Gorilla Glass is nearly three times more expensive as it involves large furnaces and diamond to make it ready for the purpose. And After that cumbersome process the output is a material which is 67 percent heavier than Gorilla Glass and even less transparent.

These are certainly not desirable traits for the much awaited iPhone 6 as Apple follows a trend of making its devices lighter each year with displays that are best in class and have true colour reproductions. Taking into consideration all above factors, Apple’s tie up with GT Advanced technologies and set up of a new plant to produce light weight lucrative Sapphire sheets for its new flagship might be a valid answer.

So will Apple be able to prove this wrong that innovation is leveled off after Steve Jobs died in 2011. The company which changed the smartphone experience in 2007 will once again do something that is not done yet by any other smartphone maker or this Sapphire buzz is just a method to distinguish itself from the crowd. Only time will tell.

Rohit Arora: