Apple Experimented with Sapphire Crystal Displays, Found Them Infeasible

sapphireBack in March, an MIT report suggested that Apple and other smartphone manufacturers could potentially switch to sapphire crystal displays rather than the standard Gorilla Glass displays currently in use.

As it turns out, Apple has already experimented with sapphire screens. In an interview with Swiss news site Tages-Anzeiger [Google Translation], Vertu COO Perry Oosting revealed that Apple investigated the possibility of a sapphire display, recruiting an unspecified number of Vertu employees to work on the project.

Vertu is a British company that produces luxury cell phones, some with sapphire displays, and at least two former Vertu employees appear to have joined Apple in the last year.

According to Oosting, Apple ultimately shelved the sapphire project because the material is unsuitable for production in the numbers that Apple requires at the current point in time. Corning, the company that manufacturers Gorilla Glass 3 for Apple's displays, has also stated that sapphire is an inferior option for mobile displays.

The company believes that Gorilla Glass offers greater strength, lower weight, less energy cost in production, and lower pricing; all important features for mass manufactured products.

Though Apple may not have current plans to utilize sapphire displays, it has incorporated sapphire crystal into the iPhone, as a cover for the rear camera on the fifth generation iPhone. Rumors have suggested that sapphire may also be used as part of the home button in the iPhone 5S.

(Thanks, Rainer!)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that Apple's AI strategy emphasizes providing...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

Gurman: iOS 18 Will Allow Users to Recolor App Icons and Place Them Anywhere

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:22 pm PDT by
Apple's iOS 18 update will introduce new features for further customizing the iPhone's home screen, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman claimed that Apple will allow users to change the color of app icons in iOS 18. For example, "you can make all your social icons blue or finance-related ones green." This kind of home screen...
Apple iPhone 14 color lineup feature

Apple Now Selling Refurbished iPhone 14 Models

Friday May 24, 2024 11:15 am PDT by
Apple today added refurbished iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max devices to its online store for refurbished products, offering the prior-generation iPhones at a discount for the first time since their 2022 launch. The iPhone 14 is available starting at $619, the iPhone 14 Pro is available starting at $759, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is available starting at $849. ...
top stories 25may2024

Top Stories: iOS 17.5.1 Fixes Concerning Photos Bug, All-New iPhone 17 Model Rumored, and More

Saturday May 25, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
It's been quite a week of Apple news and rumors, ranging from a concerning bug with deleted photos reappearing on users' devices to hot rumors about a new high-end iPhone model for 2025 and a MacBook with a foldable screen coming as soon as 2026. Other news and rumors this week included fresh expectations for iOS 18 features and new headphones from Sonos to compete head-to-head with AirPods...

Top Rated Comments

XboxMySocks Avatar
143 months ago
Corning, the company that manufacturers Gorilla Glass 3 for Apple's displays, has also stated (https://www.macrumors.com/2013/05/22/corning-pits-gorilla-glass-3-against-sapphire-plans-reflection-reduction-and-antimicrobial-technology/) that sapphire is an inferior option for mobile displays.

Shocker :rolleyes:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DiToHo Avatar
143 months ago
Interesting!

Not that it matters, but just for the sake of correctness... ;) Tages Anzeiger is a Swiss newspaper, not German.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
andrew12 Avatar
143 months ago
???

INfeasible? really, truly?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sixthdimension Avatar
143 months ago
iPhone 5


Though Apple may not have current plans to utilize sapphire displays, it has incorporated sapphire crystal into the iPhone, as a cover for the rear camera on the fifth generation iPhone.

iPhone 5 is actually the sixth generation iPhone. ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menel Avatar
143 months ago
at the current point in time.
Emphasis.

That could change in 9 months, or in 3 years, or never.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
143 months ago
I don't want my screen to look like that.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)