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Why iPhone 6 is better off without sapphire… and why next iPhone should have it

Published Feb 4th, 2015 4:20PM EST
iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6s Sapphire Display

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Even though countless leaks and reports said the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would sport more durable sapphire glass displays, the devices still shipped packing Gorilla Glass displays, with later events revealing why Apple was not able to deliver this particular iPhone feature. However, the fact that sapphire manufacturer and Apple partner GTAT was unable to meet Apple’s contractual requirements might not necessarily be a bad thing for the iPhone 6, as a new MacRumors report reveals.

DON’T MISS: The iPhone 6 might be low-res, but Apple’s highest-resolution device ever is coming soon

The publication cites DisplayMate’s specialist Dr. Raymond Soneira, saying that recent advancements in sapphire display technology might make such displays a lot more suitable for future smartphone use than they would have been last year.

MacRumors mentions a previous Time report that said current sapphire glass technology is less than ideal, as the displays are thicker, more expensive, unable to transmit as much light and have up to double the reflectance of glass.

However, Soneira has been able to test new sapphire glass tech that will apparently be a breakthrough for smartphones in the future.

“We have just lab tested an important new sapphire technology that significantly lowers the screen reflectance of sapphire to much lower than glass, turning its former major disadvantage into a major new advantage,” Raymond Soneira said. “A technical note, this isn’t an Anti-Reflection AR coating, which would scratch off easily and defeat sapphire’s tremendous scratch resistance — so the enhanced sapphire is now number one in scratch resistance, low reflectance and performance in high ambient light. In addition, displays using it could run with lower screen brightness and result in increased running time on battery.”

Even though it won’t mass-produce sapphire screens with GTAT, Apple is believed to still be interested in the technology for future iPhones, with Foxconn reportedly being the chosen supplier for such component.

It’s not clear at this time whether this year’s iPhone 6s models will have sapphire screens.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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