It is heavily speculated that Apple will incorporate Sapphire glass to its new iPhone 6 and possibly the iWatch to be released this coming fall. The consumer electronics giant is already using the material in the fingerprint sensor and camera of their current iPhone 5S model. Now, Samsung and LG seem to be following suit according to Korean news site ET News.
The two South Korean handset makers had apparently explored the idea of using sapphire glass in their phone displays as early as last year. But the main deterrent for them is the production cost of such high-end material. What powered up this speculation recently are reports by South Korean media that Samsung and LG have requested product samples from sapphire glass manufacturers for them to experiment on.
The issue of higher costs also hindered Apple from utilizing sapphire initially. However, trends in the smartphone industry prove to be a more persuasive force to go against. It seems that the need for a tougher display material is stronger than the issue of costs. At present, only high-end, luxury phone models like the Vertu Ti uses sapphire glass in its display.
Apple already has a working sapphire glass manufacturing plant in Arizona, US. It has been reported that the said plant started to ship materials to their partners in China. It looks like Apple?s efforts to employ the use of sapphire has triggered the two South Korean tech giants to reconsider.
Sapphire is touted as a more sought-after material for smartphone displays because of its unique properties. Displays made from this material are expected to be lighter, thinner, more durable and scratch-proof. It?s also more sensitive to touch-based commands. Due to these attributes, sapphire glass is seen as a very likely candidate for covering iWatch displays, as already being practiced by luxury watchmakers to prevent nicks and scratches from blemishing their products.
Still according to the tech rumor mill, the California-based company is only able to produce 10 million units of sapphire glass panels owing to soaring production costs. The price for a single unit of sapphire display is said to be $ 280, while the total cost of hardware components for the iPhone 5S is only $ 191. This gives us an idea that the iPhone 6, if equipped with sapphire glass display, will cost significantly higher than its predecessors.
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