One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the iPhone 6 before its unveiling was whether or not the device would come with a scratch-proof sapphire display. Now that we know the new device won’t have a sapphire screen, the question becomes whether Apple ever intended to use sapphire on the device at all.

A DIFFERENT TAKE: Your iPhone 6 won’t have a sapphire display after all – here’s why

Over at Time, Tim Bajarin writes that Apple never planned to give the iPhone 6 a sapphire display for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The difficulty in making sapphire screens thin or light enough to be used on smartphones, particularly big smartphones such as the iPhone 6 Plus
  • A sapphire display might have increased the base cost of the iPhone 6 by $100
  • Research indicates that sapphire glass doesn’t transmit light nearly as efficiently as Gorilla Glass, which would put a strain on the iPhone 6’s battery life

You get the idea. While a sapphire display sounds incredibly cool, there will always be tradeoffs to using it that no amount of engineering wizardry can completely solve. What’s more, Bajarin’s sources say that Apple isn’t even sure that it will use sapphire in future iPhone displays as there are still so many issues to be worked out.

Interestingly, Bajarin’s report contradicts a report we saw last week from Wall Street Forensics that claimed Apple had planned to use sapphire in the iPhone 6 but decided against it due to poor yields. We’ll definitely know more for certain about Apple’s plans for sapphire screens by this time next year after the company has had more time to work out some issues with cost and manufacturing to see if using sapphire for the iPhone is feasible.

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