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Why sapphire iPhone screens could be Apple's next big thing

Marco Tabini | July 30, 2014
Because of its higher strength, less sapphire is needed to make future mobile devices, thus making them lighter and thinner.

Still, it's too early to say whether the fine folks from Cupertino will switch to all-sapphire screens for any of the models in the iPhone's sixth generation; certainly, there are a number of indicators that the company is, at the very least, investing heavily in the gemstone: In addition to the aforementioned factory, Apple has filed a number of patents that cover everything from sandwiching glass and sapphire together--a combination that would give future devices the protection of the latter at a fraction of the price--to covering a sapphire screen with a special oleophobic coating that repels fingerprints and smudges.

Leaks and early reports notwithstanding, we will likely have to wait until the official launch of the iPhone 6, which is widely expected to happen sometime this fall, to find out whether gemstone screens are in our future. Until then, we'll just have to continue to be extra careful whenever we pocket our phone or lay it down on a flat surface--or suffer the, uh, scratchy consequences.

 

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