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iPhone may adopt sapphire glass for premium models

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Published : 2014-07-17 20:45
Updated : 2014-07-17 20:45

Apple may adopt sapphire glass for the highest-end models of its new smartphone, the iPhone 6, according to a display research company.

“Apple’s sapphire material supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, appears capable of producing the glass for around 45 million smartphones. Still, only the iPhone 6’s most premium models may adopt it due to its high cost and a possible supply (set aside) for the iWatch,” said Brian Huh, a senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch Korea, at its touch conference in Seoul.

He said the 64GB version of either the 5.5-inch or 4.7-inch model is likely to adopt the glass. The iPhone 6 will reportedly come in 32GB and 64GB models.

Huh added that sapphire glass may also be used for Apple’s laptops next year.

“The glass is likely to be used for the laptops’ touch pads first and it may gradually be adopted for laptop screens in the future,” he said.

Sapphire glass is an incredibly strong material as it enables smartphone screens to withstand scuffs and scratches. The glass is known to be twice as hard as standard glass, and nearly as hard as a diamond.

Apple first used Corning’s sapphire glass for the iPhone 5 to protect its Touch ID fingerprint reader and rear camera lens cover. As the company aims to expand the usage to its smartphone screens, it signed a $578 million deal with GT Advanced Technologies last November.

Regarding speculation on whether the iPhone 6’s launch may be delayed to next year, he said it was unlikely. “Both versions are highly likely to be launched this year.”

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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