Apple will use sapphire home buttons on the new iPad and iPad mini, expected to launch next month, according to a report from DigiTimes.
Apple first adopted sapphire to make covers of iPhone 5 cameras and now the material is also used in making covers of iPhone 5S finger print-recognizing home keys, the sources noted. Apple in March 2013 filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office an application concerning high-temperature lamination of sapphire layers, the sources noted.
The report goes on to note that Apple may be looking to adopt sapphire for the front screen of the next iPhone to be launched in 2014.
The most likely reason for a sapphire home button would be to add the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPad, while a sapphire screen for the iPhone, while likely being an extremely expensive part, would make the screen virtually immune to scratching.
A previous report suggested that Apple and other smartphone manufacturers looked at using sapphire for smartphone screens but found the material was unsuitable for high-volume production.
A redesigned iPad and Retina iPad mini are expected to launch next month.
Top Rated Comments
Touch ID will hit every product eventually.
This might finally bring multi-user support. Touch Id + no multi user = Fail ! for families that share an iPad.
The future is already here - its just not evenly distributed.
- William Gibson
Can't wait for a new Mini! My iPad 2 days are done!(nothing wrong with it, just feels like holding a brick now after using the g/f's Mini constantly).
A little? What the f...
Dude the future is here man! If people can't see the huge potential for this in the next 1-2 years you are so blind. :confused:
I could see this being huge for parents who want to control the amount of time their kids use on the iPad. I know of a coworker who's kid is addicted to Minecraft and he's only like 7 or 8. Not literally addicted but plays it probably too much.
Businesses that use an iPad instead of a big clunky cash register can now not be worried about having a $500+ device sitting on the counter. Want it? Go for it and steal it, you won't be able to use it.
Minor convenience of not having to click home screen and then swipe. Now just put finger on home button. I bet after using the fingerprint sensor to unlock going back to the old way will feel so wrong and slow(yes, probably only a 1/4-1/2 second slower but still add that up over couple years).