Industry reports have flip-flopped in regards to whether or not Apple is going to launch an iPhone with sapphire this year. Right now it appears most likely that the company will launch some sort of synthetic sapphire display for its new devices, which will allow them to be much more resistant to scratches, just not as resistant as real sapphire.
Now JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall says he believes it’s also unlikely we’ll see any real sapphire displays on this year’s iPhones, though it’s likely we’ll see them used in the future.
“At the end of the day we see two possibilities for the iPhone 6 – either Apple produces a small number of high end devices with sapphire or they produce none,” Hall said, according to a note obtained by CNET. ”Although we have channel indications that some sapphire devices will be produced, we actually lean toward Apple selling no sapphire phones this year. On sapphire as a feature — we see it as a huge phone seller. The screens are reportedly unscratchable (except by diamond) and virtually indestructible. We believe most people will want sapphire when and if it ever becomes available.”
Apple may instead use the sapphire it’s developing in Arizona for the iWatch, since that will require less of the material — likely keeping costs down —than a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch iPhone would require. In the long run, however, we certainly hope Apple uses sapphire on its phones, too.