Apple might be bringing a sapphire display to the market after all, but you’re going to have to pay a premium to get your hands on it. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is considering putting sapphire screens on premium versions of the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models this fall if the necessary supply is available.
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Apple has reportedly invested over $700 million in the development of sapphire displays, leading analysts to postulate that not only will the Cupertino company follow through on using the material in its new products, but also charge more in order to recoup on its investment. If sapphire displays are in fact significantly sturdier than Gorilla Glass, Apple will save money on fewer broken screens, but not enough to counteract what could become a major drain on its profit margin.
“Before the Apple investment, I would have said sapphire is a great material with great potential but it’s a few years out from becoming a market reality,” says IHS Technology’s Vinita Jakhanwal. “But Apple has invested a significant amount, so it would be fair to say that the company probably expects a return on its investment pretty quickly.”
If Apple wants a quick return on its investment, four iPhone 6 models might be the answer — two with glass displays and two with sapphire displays. The question remains: are consumers convinced that sapphire is the next evolution in smartphone displays?