New sapphire glass screens could be coming to the iPhone 6s


Apple is gobbling up sapphire supplies at an alarming rate of knots. Photo:
New sapphire glass technology could make it as good as Gorilla Glass. Photo: GT Advanced Technologies
Photo: GT Advanced Technologies

In the lead-up to the iPhone 6, everyone expected Apple to give it a sapphire glass display. Sapphire glass, it was said, would lead to nigh-indestructible screens: Scratched and shattered iPhone displays would become a thing of the past.

Of course, we all know what happened from there. Apple’s sapphire partner, GT Advanced Technologies, completely collapsed, and the iPhone 6 shipped with plain old Gorilla Glass. Yet even if it hadn’t, Apple might not have used sapphire glass, which was much more reflective and harder to read in ambient light than Gorilla Glass.

But here’s the key word: was. A new technology has emerged that might make sapphire glass every bit as good when it comes to viewability as Gorilla Glass.

In an email to Cult of Mac, DisplayMate president and all-around display expert Raymond Soneira writes:

We have just lab tested an important new sapphire technology that significantly lowers the screen reflectance of sapphire to much lower than glass, turning its former major disadvantage into a major new advantage. A technical note, this isn’t an Anti-Reflection AR coating, which would scratch off easily and defeat sapphire’s tremendous scratch resistance – so the enhanced sapphire is now number one in scratch resistance, low reflectance and performance in high ambient light. In addition, displays using it could run with lower screen brightness and result in increased running time on battery. This new production ready low reflectance enhanced sapphire will undoubtedly be one of the major new advancements for smartphone displays in the very near future.

This new sapphire glass sounds perfect for Apple. Not only is it tough, but Soneira says it’s just as clear as Gorilla Glass, which means the display itself can use less light (and consequently less power) under ambient light.

Could we see this new sapphire glass in time for the iPhone 6s? Only time will tell, but fingers crossed.

Source: DisplayMate

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  • Such a non story. Another speculation article by the kings of speculation and rumour. Do some proper research and write articles that worthy of your readers time.

  • Marcus

    I feel like I read this article a year ago…lame!

  • bigcityguy

    I’ve got the 5S – the the Sapphire Touch ID button is nothing but a fingerprint magnet – I’m constantly trying to keep iot clean just so I can unlock the phone.

    Whether this is a new or old story, how would a screen be different enough that it would actually stay clean throughout a days’ use?

  • Chris

    If only there was such a thing as “sapphire glass” this story might be worth reading.

    • RedNinjaX

      Yeah I thought that sounded weird

  • john

    Beware anyone who does business with Apple just remember GT Advanced Technologies. Apple if they do use sapphire glass will only be because no more middle man. Just check out some of the other businesses that Apple has done this to. Do your resesrch!

    • Lars Pallesen

      Yeah, I’m sure it was Apple’s evil plan all along to invest billions in a subcontractor only to have them fail and not deliver sapphire glass in time for the iPhone 6. Sure.

      • john

        Maybe not this phone could be the i7 or the next phone. apple still won’t have a middle man so just mean more profit for Apple. Yes apple is a evil company destruction of all other os then stuck with there junk only.

  • guest25

    Such great discovery, we are doing for years by doping
    sapphire with few ppm Chromium, Titanium or Iron ions in order to reduce reflectivity
    and get noble looks for sapphire watch glass.