Sapphire Displays to See Major Step Forward With Lower Reflectivity

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    For several months leading up to the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it was heavily speculated that the smartphones would be equipped with sapphire crystal displays. Those rumors failed to materialize, however, as Apple opted to continue using ion-strengthened Gorilla Glass for its displays. Just weeks later, Apple sapphire partner GT Advanced filed for bankruptcy in what turned out to be a dramatic fallout between the two companies over strict contract terms and sapphire production issues.

    (Image via MKBHD)​
    While GT Advanced experienced difficulties with both the quality and quantity of sapphire, it is possible that Gorilla Glass was the better choice for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus after all. TIME reported in September that sapphire, in its current form, has several properties that are less ideal than glass, including being thicker and heavier, more expensive, unable to transmit as much light and less durable after exposure to normal wear and tear. Sapphire also has up to double the screen reflectance of glass, especially under bright light, which could make it difficult to read the screen.

    The reflective issue in particular could soon be a thing of the past, however, as DisplayMate confirmed to MacRumors that it has lab tested new sapphire technology that it believes will be a major breakthrough for smartphone displays. The display calibration and evaluation company found the production-ready enhanced sapphire to be at an advantage over both regular sapphire and glass based on the results of its testing, and predicted that "rapidly falling production costs" could make the material go mainstream in the near future.
    While Apple's recent partnership with GT Advanced made it clear that the iPhone maker is certainly interested in sapphire, it remains unknown if and when the company will ever use the material for the iPhone or other products. A number of smaller smartphone makers such as Huawei, Kyocera and Vertu have already turned to sapphire crystal displays, and these new technologies lay the foundation for Apple and other handset makers to follow suit.

    Article Link: Sapphire Displays to See Major Step Forward With Lower Reflectivity
  2. unobtainium macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2011
    I don't see a benefit to sapphire. It's thicker, heavier, more reflective, *and* more prone to wear and tear, according to the article? So why use sapphire at all?
  3. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Good news, but it's highly unlikely we will see anything from Apple in the way of sapphire until at least the iPhone 7. GT Advanced going bankrupt was a major setback. With iPhones flying off the shelves faster than ever, they're going to need a ton of sapphire just to ramp up production—much less sustain it.
  4. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    I can see 2gb of ram in the next iphone, can't see an all sapphire display just yet..especially since gorilla glass just keeps getting stronger and stronger.
  5. JS77 macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2008
    Looks like you stopped reading the article half way down.... :p
  6. Cmd-Z macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2014
    Coyote, CA
    Did you happen to read the 2nd half of the article?
  7. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
  8. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
  9. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2010
    did you actually read the article summary? like to the bottom of the screen?
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    No, that's Corning's opinion while they don't have sapphire displays for sale. Just like Steve Job's method where everything that Apple doesn't have for sale right now was rubbish and nobody wanted it, until Apple had it for sale and then it was the greatest thing.

    All these disadvantages will magically disappear when Corning has sapphire displays for sale.

    And Apple will use it when somebody can produce enough of these displays for one iPhone model. For example all iPhone 6, or all iPhone 6+. Apple will not want to sell a model with sapphire display and an otherwise identical model without sapphire display at the same time.
  11. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    Double fixed! :)
  12. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
  13. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    What kind of timeframe are we talking about? This year's iPhone? Next year's? The year after? (I'd find it hard to call 2018 or beyond "the near future".)
  14. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    Hilarious! That was TOO funny!
  15. dredlew macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2014
    Main problem of sapphire is still that it’s more brittle than regular glass. Who cares about scratch resistance? If the glass is scratched, you can still use the phone. When it breaks, that’s when the issues start and you need to get the screen replaced. Unless they figure out a way to make it less brittle, I don’t see sapphire as a good successor.
  16. teslo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2014
    let's just get the Matte Finish option back for all iThings, yeah? i'll pay good $ for it.
  17. blacktape242 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
  18. AppleWarMachine macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2011
    Michigan, US
    Because it's something new and everyone will go crazy about it :rolleyes:
  19. unobtainium macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2011
    I did. My question is, why was Apple ever interested in sapphire in the first place? According to this article, sapphire was thicker, heavier, more reflective, dimmer, and more prone to wear and tear. I can't imagine why they were investing so much money in it.

    With this new technology it sounds like a contender.
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Sorry, that's not just Corning saying so. Those are the facts of sapphire. It is heavier than glass. It's also thicker and more expensive to make thinner. The reflectivity was higher prior to this new formula. Additionally, it is less durable over time vs ionized glass due to the chemical structure of the crystal. None of that has anything to do with Corning.

    This new sapphire formula only seems to address the reflectivity and none of the other issues. As for Corning, they could very well be the manufacturers of this new sapphire, since DisplayMate doesn't say who makes it. We don't know.
  21. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    I really don't care. There comes a certain point where the improvements won't be noticed by most iPhone owners.
  22. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    I'm having trouble seeing sapphire on an iPhone. It'll be much harder to scratch, but much easier to crack. For comparison, gorilla glass is relatively easy to scratch, but it can flex.
  23. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    Is that what the "S" will stand for this time? :p

    You, sir, are spot on!
  24. carrrrrlos macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2010
  25. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    Scotty needs to learn how to use Siri first :p


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