Monday, August 18, 2014

Apple’s Upcoming iPhone 6 with Sapphire Screens

iPhone 6
It was reported by The Wall Street Journal recently, that the first sapphire screens for the upcoming iPhone 6 and the iWatch are likely to be expected this month from a Mesa, Arizona factory which is jointly operated by Merrimack, New Hampshire based material produce, GT Advanced Technologies Inc. – NASDAQ-GTAT, and Apple. It was said that the plantwould be manufacturing double sapphire than the current synthetic sapphire producers all over the world.

It was also suggested by thesources that the sapphire screens would appear in variants of 4.7 as well as 5.5 inch versions of the iPhone 6, though the sapphire covered models would be a bit expensive as well as rare. If the sources are right, then it would be a good change for Apple who has been offering good variety in terms of colour as well as internal capacity on earlier iPhone though they have not charged premium for updated materials in the same model. Sapphire which is a material known for scratch and crack resistant properties, is the hardest material and while its properties are an appropriate choice to increase the durability, high cost for manufacturing have made it unsuitable for a large scale mass production applications, enabling sapphire for only selected items like covers for luxury watches.

Speculation on Sapphire Screen with regards to Cost

Apple has been currently using sapphire for iPhone camera lens as well as its touch ID fingerprint reader. It is estimated that the sapphire iPhone screen would cost $16 to produce when compared with the cost of around $3 for the Corning Gorilla Glass, which is the company that currently utilises its entire iPhone line-up though detractors are of the opinion that the sapphire in large quantities would be prone to shatter as well as make the displays much harder to view in sunlight. Apple though presently has been using sapphire in limited portion that protects the Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the iPhone 5s home button, prevents scratch on top of the camera lens in its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. But with regards to cost, in the production of larger quantities, like for a full iPhone display, it has brought about some speculation that a sapphire screen may not come up in this year’s iPhone line-up.

Complete Redesign from iPhone 5s

With rumours floating that Apple has plans to introduce the two new iPhone models this year – 4.7 inches as well as 5.5 inches, both are expected to be a complete redesign from the present iPhone 5s. With many speculating about sapphire in the next iPhone, Apple has managed to strike a deal of $578 million with furnace maker GT Advanced Technologies which enables the companies to finance as well as operate jointly a Phoenix facility which will produce sapphire crystal material. Many of Apple fans looking forward for a sapphire front panel should consider that the company arrangement with Liquid metal that had existed since 2010 has yet to appear in any of the company’s product in a more significant manner. The only known utility of Liquid metal till date was in SIM ejector tool which was shipped with the iPhone 3GS.

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