Apple Experimented with Sapphire Crystal Displays, Found Them Infeasible

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Back in March, an MIT report suggested that Apple and other smartphone manufacturers could potentially switch to sapphire crystal displays rather than the standard Gorilla Glass displays currently in use.

    As it turns out, Apple has already experimented with sapphire screens. In an interview with Swiss news site Tages-Anzeiger [Google Translation], Vertu COO Perry Oosting revealed that Apple investigated the possibility of a sapphire display, recruiting an unspecified number of Vertu employees to work on the project.

    Vertu is a British company that produces luxury cell phones, some with sapphire displays, and at least two former Vertu employees appear to have joined Apple in the last year.

    According to Oosting, Apple ultimately shelved the sapphire project because the material is unsuitable for production in the numbers that Apple requires at the current point in time. Corning, the company that manufacturers Gorilla Glass 3 for Apple's displays, has also stated that sapphire is an inferior option for mobile displays.

    The company believes that Gorilla Glass offers greater strength, lower weight, less energy cost in production, and lower pricing; all important features for mass manufactured products.

    Though Apple may not have current plans to utilize sapphire displays, it has incorporated sapphire crystal into the iPhone, as a cover for the rear camera on the fifth generation iPhone. Rumors have suggested that sapphire may also be used as part of the home button in the iPhone 5S.

    (Thanks, Rainer!)

    Article Link: Apple Experimented with Sapphire Crystal Displays, Found Them Infeasible
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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    #2
    The gems! Apple is mining out the whole world...
     
  3. macrumors 601

    BornAgainMac

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    #3
    I don't want my screen to look like that.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #4
    Emphasis.

    That could change in 9 months, or in 3 years, or never.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Interesting!

    Not that it matters, but just for the sake of correctness... ;) Tages Anzeiger is a Swiss newspaper, not German.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

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    I'm sure Apple tries just about everything. I wouldn't be surprised to find out they experimented with just about any substance.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    XboxMySocks

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    #7
    Shocker :rolleyes:
     
  8. macrumors member

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    #8
    It is not very likely that sapphire would be used for the home button, as a scratched one would still function. Scratches on the lens however do affect the camera function.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

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    #9
    They may be researching it for wearable devices, not just iPhone.

    .
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

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    #10

    Like iWatch.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    To the Swiss it matters a lot! (Schona Grussen au di Schweiz!)
     
  12. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #12
    Yeah, I read it as Apple needs some time to invest in whoever's infrastructure before it can get going. They didn't put it on the camera lens because it was for fun.

    I don't even know why they'd show that. We're talking about synthetic sapphire. A shot of the 5's camera would be more appropriate.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    My expectation as well.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Porco

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    #If I gave you diamonds and pearls
    Would you be a happy boy or a girl
    If I could I would give you the world
    All I can do is just offer you my love… and new flat user-interface… and iCloud… and stuff….
     
  15. macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Sapphire is extremely scratch resistant. It's also very brittle.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

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    #16
    iPhone 5

    iPhone 5 is actually the sixth generation iPhone. ;)
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Jack97

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    #17
    I'm puzzled as to why they looked at this in the first place - compared to gorilla glass, it doesn't seem to have many advantages...
     
  18. macrumors regular

    windels

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    #18
    higher scratch resistance.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Four oF NINE

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    #19
    I'd love a sapphire crystal display and would be willing to pay a premium to get it.

    It's what my Rolex uses and there's not a single scratch..
     
  20. macrumors 68020

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    #20
    My Omega watch has Saphire Crystal and I have it for almost 20 years after a lot of abuse without a single scratch. Pretty amazing. Great material.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I hope they're not just taking Corning's word for it.
     
  22. macrumors member

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    #22
    Wow I went a checked out those Vertu phones. Very impressive. Never new there were luxury cell phones. $1250 for a phone is a little crazy but they are very nicely designed.
     
  23. macrumors 603

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    #23

    probably, but i bet there are a lot more iphones out in the world than omega watches. and the iphone display has to do a lot more.

    its one thing building a demo unit. totally another manufacturing tens of millions of units for sale at prices people will pay
     
  24. macrumors 6502

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    #24
    If the home button would include a fingerprint scanner it might well be useful.

    ----------

    They still go out of fashion though, scratched or not.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 15, 2002
    #25
    A Rolex never goes out of fashion!
     

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