Expert Believes Alleged iPhone 6 Sapphire Front Panel Could Be 'Legitimate'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier this week, numerous videos of the alleged front panel of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 surfaced, which showed the screen being put through stress tests involving significant bending and scratching. While those videos referred to the front panel as being made of sapphire crystal, there was no way to confirm that the display were made of the durable material.

    Now, professor Neil Alford, who is a member of the Department of Materials at the Imperial College in London, tells The Guardian that the alleged "sapphire panel" could "well be legitimate." Alford believes that the stress tests performed on the screen indicate that the panel is made of sapphire, adding that Apple likely overcame a number of challenges in making the part thin and durable.

    Alford noted that Apple had contacted him in January 2013 to discuss sapphire screens, indicating that Apple has likely been hard at work on creating the screen afterward. Past rumors have suggested that Apple will be using a sapphire display in the iPhone 6, but other reports have claimed that the more durable material could be exclusive to the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 due to supply constraints.

    Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is expected to launch this September, while the larger 5.5-inch version has been rumored to be released at the same time. In addition to a larger display, both devices are likely to include a thinner housing, a faster A8 processor, and an improved camera.

    Article Link: Expert Believes Alleged iPhone 6 Sapphire Front Panel Could Be 'Legitimate'
  2. maxap macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
  3. penajmz macrumors 68020


    Sep 11, 2008
    New York City
  4. Aussi3 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2012
    Sounds good can't wait for my sapphire screen :)!!!
  5. kimvette macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2012
    If that actually is a sapphire panel in the video, the flexibility hints that Apple has figured out how to resolve the brittle nature of sapphire, which is what has previously made it unsuitable for large smartphone screens. The reason sapphire works in bulletproof glass is it is in a laminate which can take the impact but sapphire by itself generally cannot without shattering.

    Very interesting, and if Apple did indeed solve this huge problem, kudos to them - this really is innovation even though Samsung played around with prototypes and rejected them a few years ago.
  6. ianogden macrumors member


    Aug 4, 2006
    What a salesman! Great material, but i do suspect that this is a strategic leak. Apple is so big that, if legit, they most definitely wanted us to see this...

    Very exciting material though.
  7. kushari macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2009
    Quick question, what are most smart phones now using, besides gorilla glass?
  8. LordEntropy macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2007
    Curious to know how this fairs in a drop test?
  9. SilianRail macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2011
    A 5.5" phone is TACKY. I'm going to be disgusted if sapphire screens aren't on the 4.7".
  10. Keniutek macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2011
    How do we know it's sapphire? Because the rumors say so?
  11. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    Because it's not blurry...
  12. aaplexcelsior macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2012
    I'm not sure what to make of the videos (as others have pointed out I would think that gorilla glass would pass many of the same tests too), but I do believe that it is sapphire or some substantially more scratch resistant material like sapphire because of the curvature. It seems to me that I'll previous iPhone designs, Apple included a little plastic ridge around the display so that if the phone is laid flat face down, there is something to protect the screen from scratches. The curved cover sticks out, and is much more vulnerable to scratches. Apple wouldn't have done this unless the cover is more scratch resistant.
  13. iOSaddict macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2014
    If the front glass in the video is indeed Apple's and will show up on the next iphone, it's good that they patent all the process related to manufacturing it. Gotta cover it well this time so Samsung won't be able to copy again. :cool:
  14. achtung! macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2005
  15. afd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2005
    That Spyderco probably quite hard, certainly harder than a brass key, how would it cope with sandpaper or wet and dry?
  16. peterdevries macrumors 68040


    Feb 22, 2008
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    A fine example of real innovation. This used to be a very expensive material used only in premium products or in very small components. By single handedly building production capacity for sapphire, Apple has enabled this premium raw material to become a cost effective and most likely superior alternative to Gorilla Glass.

    Well done.
  17. waloshin macrumors 68030


    Oct 9, 2008
  18. peterdevries macrumors 68040


    Feb 22, 2008
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    The production process is probably pretty much public domain (although the glass processing might be quite well protected). In addition Apple purchased the machinery and process from a third party, which Samsung could also do. The entry barrier here is most likely the enormous capital investment necessary to build a factory to support the production quantities that would be necessary.

    Moreover Samsung has never spent much thought on the quality of their materials. Most of their products are cheap plastic bodies with very good LCD screens. They might be quite happy with their current "glass" supplier.
  19. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    The point is: You can only make such an investment if you are certain that you sell millions of units. No one, not even Samsung could buy all that equipment and streamline the production yield just to sell a few million of these.

    It's not that other companies could not do what Apple does.
    It's just not feasible for them to do so.
  20. peterdevries macrumors 68040


    Feb 22, 2008
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    True, but that reasoning doesn't really apply to Samsung I think. Together with Apple they sell the most cellphones on the planet and have numerous other gadgets with screens such as the gear fit (they cell 54 different cellphone models alone :eek:).

    That factory would not only produce glass for one cellphone type but for all future product lines. I think Samsung is easily able to produce and sell (combined) 70 million cellphones, gear fits and other hardware in the next 5 years. I'm not saying that they should and would, but I think Samsung is one of the very few manufacturers that could probably justify such an investment for their own products.
  21. Alphabetize macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2013
    Hoping that sapphire panel is more impact resistant than previous iPhones.
  22. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    This is no better than the weather man saying 50% chance of rain :rolleyes:
  23. Zxxv macrumors 68030

    Nov 13, 2011

    :D hilarious :D some expert they are , how do they remember to breath hahahahahahaha :D

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