WSJ: sapphire crystal screens in 'more expensive' iPhone 6 models... maybe

WSJ: sapphire crystal screens in 'more expensive' iPhone 6 models... maybeConsidering we’re possibly less than four weeks away from the iPhone 6 launch (September 9 is the current front runner), countless details remain up in the air. Is the larger iPhone 6 arriving alongside the smaller guy? Will it launch separately? Or at all?

There’s a further question mark over the use of sapphire crystal, something we’ve been writing about incessantly for the past few weeks, and here we're told it might feature in "more expensive" iPhone 6 models. Whatever that means.

That’s the story according to anonymous sources of The Wall Street Journal, or “people familiar with the matter” if you prefer.

They’re saying that Apple is “considering using sapphire screens in more expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones”, but only “if it can get enough of the material”.

It's previously been suggested that Apple's sapphire crystal display might be exclusive to particular size/storage combinations of the iPhone 6.

Of course, Apple has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a fancy Arizona-based facility, but while it’s reportedly been kitted out with ludicrously expensive cutting edge technology, it’s not clear if it’s running at full capacity just yet.

Nor is it clear if sapphire crystal is worth the effort. Eric Virey, a senior analyst with Yole Développement, reckons a sapphire crystal display costs $16 to produce, compared to just $3 for a Gorilla Glass panel.

Furthermore, Gorilla reckons its glass has outperformed sapphire crystal in drop tests, and reflects less light than its more expensive counterpart.

There’s also the question of Apple having to charge more for a sapphire crystal iPhone 6, when the current crop of iPhones are already among the most expensive phones money can buy.

Again, it's seemingly anyone's guess what's going on with the iPhone 6, but it'll all become clear in just under four weeks. Er, probably.

Read more about: iOS

Add a comment

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 15, 2014 at 14:10

That sounds like absolute nonsense.

loofer  Aug. 15, 2014 at 17:12

Can somebody remind me how the end consumer benefits with Sapphire Crystal display? Are we juts talking shaving few tenths of a mm off??

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 15, 2014 at 18:46

It's allegedly tougher than Gorilla Glass and all other variants of toughened glass.
It's the stuff Apple use for the camera lens protector, the TouchID sensor etc...

I have actually not idea if it allows for thinner slabs?
All kinds of people - incl the Gorilla folks - claim it's just an Apple stunt; that it can't be tougher...
The problem with that argument is that there hasn't been a mass produced device with a sapphire touchscreen. So there...

Having said that: nope. It's not happening. It's one of those rumours people came up with to
bridge the time to the launch of whatever comes next. Yes, Apple now make their own sapphire - there's the kernel of truth every good rumour has. That's it....

loofer  Aug. 18, 2014 at 10:08

Gorilla Glass was also a bit of a con. I think we're on the 3rd or 4th iteration now and screens still easily get scratched with keys and coins etc.

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 18, 2014 at 10:58

Yes. Htc One M8 and Lumia 1520 that I have treated really really carefully both had
scratches within days.They both have GG3...pffft.
On the other hand: my better half's iPad looks immaculate after quite some abuse.
I also found the iPhone 4/4S took abuse much better than the 5/5S...

My impression is that Gorilla Glass 3 in particular gets a lot of negative feedback.
But maybe people's attitude has changed ever so slightly? Smartphones no longer being this new exciting thing?
Strangely, of the devices that have come and gone in our household my neglected BB Z10
looks the best still. And I've not given it much love...I think it has some odd plastic coating, no?


You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.