The New Sapphire Display in iPhone 6

by February 10, 2015 0 comments

The much talked about glass has been used in camera lenses and fancy watches, Apple is planning to introduce it in their next iPhone. Here’s we decode how the glass is supposed to be superior to the current king—Corning’s Gorilla glass.

Sapphire is not new; it is the most preferable material in manufacturing the glasses of fancy watches, camera lenses and jewellery 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 its mobile displays. Let’s check out why the Cupertino tech giant is implementing this new technology and what challenges it can pose to the current leader in display technologyCorning’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 those 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 becomes completely scratch proof? That it becomes so hard that 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). This 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 per cent heavier than Gorilla Glass and even less transparent. These are certainly not desirable 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 the 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 critics wrong that innovation has stopped in the company? Will the company that changed the smartphone experience in 2007 once again do something that has not been done yet by any other smartphone maker or is this Sapphire display business just a method to create hype Only time will tell.

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