By Stephen Schenck | January 24, 2014 3:53 PM
Which smartphone manufacturer will be the first to release an affordable, mass-market focused smartphone with a supremely scratch-resistant screen of synthetic sapphire? We’ve seen such things on absurdly expensive handsets, or employed as smaller components, like the cladding over the iPhone 5S Touch ID sensor – so when do we take the next step? There was talk last year that Apple had been interested in using sapphire glass for screen protection, but supposedly had rejected the idea. But then Apple started making all these investments on the manufacturing side, investments which it’s confirmed involve a sapphire glass facility, so could we still see a sapphire screen iPhone happen? A new report out of Taiwan makes it sounds like a possibility.
Supposedly, Apple’s produced a trial run of 100 sapphire-screened iPhones. We don’t hear anything else about screen sizes, or even launch schedules – just that Apple’s said to be taking a look at what it would take to produce phones like these, and presumably evaluating just what kind of extra value such scratch-resistant handsets would offer.
As such, we’re not about to start prognosticating that sapphire screens are expected (or even a likely possibility) for the iPhone 6 (especially if June launch rumors are on-point), but we also wouldn’t be surprised if Apple finally does make a move in this area sometime in the next year or so.