iPhone 6 sapphire display crystal display: unbending, unbreakable

Jul 8, 2014
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iPhone 6 sapphire display crystal display: unbending, unbreakable

In this latest iPhone 6 leak, we divert our attention ever so slightly away from the rather contentious subject of screen sizes and return once more to the once hot topic of sapphire crystal displays. Now, courtesy of vlogger Marques Brownlee, more popularly known as MKBHD, we are getting a closer look at what is supposed to be the sapphire crystal display panel for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

OK, so we do actually dip our toes a bit into the size discussion again. This display panel, which isn't just a dummy model but something supposedly right off the factory line, confirms two things. The first is something we'll talk about more later: the existence of sapphire crystal display. The second is that it confirms that there will indeed be a 4.7-inch iPhone 6. And that it will have a sapphire crystal display too just like the larger iPhone 6, if the latter does come to existence.

Sapphire crystal is said to have two very important properties. The first is that it is crystal clear, no pun intended. Apple uses the material in small amounts to protect the camera of the iPhone without fear of the material aversely affecting the sensor. And as the video does show, you can barely discern the presence of the display and there is very little, almost none, distortion in quality or color. Plus, it is also paper thin, which will do wonders for the overall thickness of the iPhone 6 as well as the display's responsiveness to touch.

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The second and probably more known benefit of this type of material is its toughness. The iPhone 5s already sports the latest Corning Gorilla Glass version but believers hold that sapphire crystal will outdo even that and more. The usual scratch tests leave no marks aside from fingerprints and dirt, and the display would not yield to normal human-powered bending. The display is definitely one tough screen to crack and could end up saving owners dollars in terms of screen protectors or repairs.

Of course, an isolated display alone would not be a true test of its abilities and we'll have to wait until a real iPhone is attached before we can really make a judgment. Of course, there are naysayers as well, one of which is, unsurprisingly, Corning. The glass maker doesn't deny the qualities of sapphire crystal but instead appeals to people's sense of economics, explaining how the material is not only costly in terms of money but also in energy and, in the long run, the environment. Apple might not be so fazed by this and could offload some of that cost to consumers, who will likely not be fazed by the increased price and buy the new iPhone 6 anyway.


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