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It turns out that the iPhone 6 won’t have a Sapphire glass screen after all. Rumours circling Apple’s n...
While looking at the supply chain, it was noticed that despite Apple recently investing in Sapphire glass plants in Arizona and Massachusetts, the material has not been sent to the iPhone factories in time for the iPhone 6’s September launch, according to Trendforce’s LEDinside analysis.
So, it turns out that the next iPhone won’t be as big of a leap forward as we imagined. Diamond is the only material harder than Sapphire Glass, which is notoriously difficult to manufacture and has a very low yield. Apple has used it in previous iPhone incarnations for the Home button and the camera lens, but apparently mass-producing it on a screen scale turned out to be less feasible than originally supposed.
Even though another, more plausible use for Apple’s Sapphire glass investment might have been the rumored smartwatch, those rumors also cracked under the realisation that Sapphire glass doesn’t play nice with the iWatch’s flexible OLED panels.
The notoriously difficult to produce material comes in cylindrical sticks, called boules. Hutch Hutchinson, head of design at Vertu, had this to say about the crystal:
"Sapphire crystal is an incredibly tough, high quality material and this makes it perfect for luxury mobile phone screens. It is virtually impossible to damage and it will maintain a perfect, scratch free finish for many years," he said. "It can take two weeks to grow each boule and the yield from each is low. It is also very difficult to cut, grind and polish; diamond tools have to be used for all of these processes."