Apple Patent Application Describes Use of Oleophobic Coatings on Sapphire Displays

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Tim Cook confirmed in a recent interview with ABC News' David Muir that Apple was manufacturing sapphire in its Arizona plant, but deflected any questions about how the company planned to use the material. Recent reports suggest the sapphire could land in the iPhone 6 or the iWatch as a display substrate, and a recent patent application lends some credibility to these rumors.

    As noted by AppleInsider, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application titled "Oleophobic coating on sapphire" that describes a method of applying an oil-repelling coating to a sapphire display for use in a mobile or portable electronic device.

    The patent details a multi-layer display material with a base sapphire layer, a transition layer that serves to bond the surface layer to the base layer and finally a surface layer with an oleophobic coating.
    Apple first used an oleophobic coating when it introduced the fingerprint-resistant material with the iPhone 3GS. The material has been used in subsequent products, including the current iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPod touch, iPad Air and Retina iPad mini.

    Apple last year signed a $578 million deal with materials manufacturer GT Advanced to produce sapphire in a new Mesa, Arizona plant currently under construction. Recent photos of the facility reveal significant building progress as the company moves closer to the plant's target full operational date of June 2014.

    Article Link: Apple Patent Application Describes Use of Oleophobic Coatings on Sapphire Displays
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2011
    Michigan, US
  3. macrumors 6502


    Dec 21, 2001
    What happens if the coating is put on the fingerprint reader?
  4. macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2010
  5. macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2013
    Anyone is familiar with this type of coating? I am all for the scratch resistant Sapphire, but if it is coated with something that can be scratched off, it might defeat the purpose. I'd rather have fingerprints than scratches.
  6. macrumors 68040

    Jan 8, 2013
    yees plz, with sapphire they can make bezel free on sides. So iphone 6 with sapphire and sides bezel free, IM SOLD
  7. macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2013
    Isn't it the oleophobic coating that scratches easily? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of the ultra scratch resistant display?

    Edit: Oops, someone beat me to it.
  8. macrumors 68020

    Sep 6, 2002
    All iPhones have had oleophobic coatings for the past few years and there hasn't been a problem with them scratching off.
  9. macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2007
  10. macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2012
    I fail to see the correlation between sapphire glass and bezel size.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2011
    1 Infinite Loop
    Based on the drawings, I think they're bringing back the 3GS - with Sapphire! Let the rumors begin...

  12. macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2014
    As already stated, this is Dumb. Every iphone I have ever had got scratches on the coating. What a waste that would be of sapphire
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2010
    He clearly said coating - that’s actually a point though - if they can prevent fingerprints appearing on the phone including the scanner it will make it even harder to forge Touch-ID - as they will have to get someones prints from else where.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    I don't know about anyone else, but I still have lots of fingerprints on my iOS devices. I'd hate to see what the screens look like without this oleophobic coating.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2012
    London, UK
    The oleophobic layer is nano-coating on the glass so if it gets scratched off you don't even see it. On current devices it eventually wares off and you don't notice that because its so thin, you just get fingerprints being more noticeable as the device ages.
  16. macrumors 65816

    May 13, 2010
    You are familiar with it, you use it every day.


    then there would be less residual fingerprints left on the's probably already there
  17. macrumors 68020


    Dec 9, 2008
    Ah, so they make the first incision at 110 and then pour the oleophobia inside… I see…

  18. macrumors 68030


    Sep 21, 2008
    I have had every iPhone since the 3G. Never had a glass scratch/coating issue and I don't use cases or screen protectors. If you're screen is scratching, it's the glass, not the coating as someone has said above me, it's a nano coating. You will never see it come off or scratch.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Nov 15, 2011
    New Jersey
    maybe this time it can last more than a couple months?
  20. macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011

    Because Oleophobic coatings on glass is a completely different idea?

    I have used phones before with oleophobic claims and the bottom line is they do not prevent fingerprints on screens. The reality is that fingerprints are only an issue when the screen is off because it makes the glass look dirty, but when the screen is on, and unless you have been inhaling Cheetos for a few hours while using your tablet or phone, you are never going to notice fingerprints.

    If Apple is patenting how to apply this coating on sapphire then they have a claim, but to claim the "novel" idea of simply using this coating on another type of display surface I do not think will be granted.

    Oleophobic is just a marketing gimmick that tries to make people believe that a device with it is better then a device without it, just like sapphire. Apple is the king of patenting marketing myths.
  21. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    I thought patent applications were about implementation not necessarily invention.
  22. macrumors 601


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    If you've ever owned an iOS device that is an iPhone 3GS (mid-2009) or newer (including all iPads), then yes you're quite familiar with it and no, it's not a problem and yes, the iPhone was easier to wipe off after they added this.
  23. macrumors 68040

    Jan 8, 2013
    the sapphire is one of the few that can be put right into the frame of the phone


    so the little scratches that we found on our mobile is not on oleophobic coating?
  24. macrumors 601


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Try out an iPhone or iPhone 3G. It wasn't significantly worse, but the coating did help mitigate the extent of the print (smudge factor?) and made them much easier to wipe off.
  25. macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I don't think you understood what you read. You seem to be combining complaints about scratch resistance with the fingerprint resistance of the oleophobic coating. Two different things.
    The oleophobic coating isn't, pedantically speaking, fingerprint resistant. It repellent to the oils in your skin. Apple and other vendors have been using it for years. Heck, if the coating on your phone has diminished, you can buy a coating kit on Amazon. It's nothing new and totally separate from the sapphire aspect.

    The scratch resistance is the cool part of the piece. But it's also the most confusing part of the piece. Sapphire is supposed to be the key to higher scratch resistance, but if I read the piece correctly, the sapphire won't be able to affect scratches because it will be layered under a progressively thickening glass layer. Thickening is relative since we are dealing with extremely small thicknesses. 100% sapphire base blended to a top layer of 100% glass. Where does the benefit of sapphire appear when the top layer is basically what we've always had?

    Either I read the article incorrectly (it's possible, I'm out of k-cups) or something is wrong with what I read.:confused:

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