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Apple trumps competitors of future iPhones with mass sapphire glass production

iPhone - Will the glass be improved?
iPhone - Will the glass be improved?
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Apple trumps competitors of future iPhones with mass sapphire glass production

The big giants dominating the smartphone era have always been at war, but Apple may have just taken a great leap that puts it ahead of the competition. Sealing its fate with GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT), Apple just announced two days ago that the new partnership will enable the commercialization of ASF165 sapphire growth furnaces. While this is merely the beginning of a new endeavor, it may well be the ticket to Apple landing that elusive first place in the smartphone race.

It seems that Apple has certainly gone to great lengths to ensure that its competitors are unable to copy this technology, because the production of sapphire glass does not come cheap, even more so for the mass distribution and volume production that GTAT is capable of. There has been a lot of hearsay and talk regarding this new partnership and process, but it is now officially underway after years of speculation. This milestone sets iPhones apart now that it will be flaunting a high-quality sapphire glass display , something that no other manufacturer can do. This groundbreaking development will set the standard and will remain relevant starting with the upcoming iPhone 6 and all other upgrades in the many years to come.

Next to the diamond, sapphire is considered as the second hardest material. This gives the next generation of iPhones an incredible resistance to scratching, as doing any of that kind of damage to sapphire is tremendously difficult. But is the sapphire glass stronger or weaker than Corning’s Gorilla Glass?

Hard to say. Cases have been made for both materials, but factors are always variable and the results remain to be seen. What is certain, however, is that Apple will most definitely take this first mover advantage seriously and maximize the best qualities of sapphire glass while maintaining its production cost low.

What does this mean for competitors Samsung and Google? It undoubtedly isn’t easy to duplicate this kind of technology, especially since Apple has kept its technique of mass-producing low-cost sapphire glass a well-guarded secret. But whether this will put Apple ahead of the game forever or will simply give it a short head start, the fact remains that avid users will soon be able to reap the benefits of this new technology by the third quarter of this year. Expected to debut with the iPhone 6, the sapphire glass display will give an anti-scratch toughness that will be exclusive to iPhone users only. Or at least, that is what Apple hopes to achieve.


Apple secures exclusive sapphire glass production for the iPhone 6 and beyond

GT Advanced Technologies Vs. Corning: Crystalline Sapphire Is Better (And Worse) Than Gorilla Glass