Apple is very clearly investing in sapphire, a substance which intends to fit the future of the Cupertino corporation’s consumer electronics which much stronger, scratch-resistant screens. While many assume that the next-generation iPhone–dubbed the iPhone 6–will be the first to sport such technology, new Asian supply chain sources for MyDrivers and PCPOP seem to suggest otherwise.
According to Chinese media sources (which are citing “Taiwan supply chain insiders”), Apple has put a lot of effort into fitting the next iPhone with a sapphire screen. These sources claim that “beta” iPhone units (read: some of the prototypes Apple is currently testing) are already sporting sapphire protected panels, but unfortunately, chances are that they will not make it on the final product.
The problem is not necessarily due to low yield (which still is a problem, at least until Apple’s [Arizona] plant will be fully operational), but mainly because fitting a sapphire screen on the next iPhone would make its price skyrocket.
Fortunately though, the same sources also say that Apple will manage to fit sapphire screens on the rumored iWatch. The smartwatch is said to feature a 2 inch panel, and evidently, the production costs would be much lower..
According to the report, the biggest problem is not actually overall yield of the material, but rather the fact that putting sapphire in the iPhone 6 this early on would make the device too expensive. The iWatch could definitely benefit from a higher-quality screen, but evidence of much higher volume suggests that the iPhone 6 could be where sapphire is headed first after all.
In my opinion, though, the iWatch is definitely going to need Gorilla Glass at the very least. A watch is much more prone to being bumped around.
[via G 4 Games]