The Sapphire glass front panel that will be used on the iPhone 6 has been appearing all over the internet as many famous youtubers like MKBHD have gotten their hands on a sample of the panel. Apple is planning on using an (almost) pure sapphire glass display for the upcoming iPhone 6. Sapphire glass is about 10 times more expensive, 1.6 times heavier then gorilla glass and It’s environmentally unfriendly, but what are the advantages? Why will Apple use it?
Is an optically transparent crystal, it is Harder than Gorilla Glass, stronger than steel, and perfectly transparent. But where the glass stands most out is its hardness, being twice as hard as normal glass and nearly as hard as diamond, Apple has chosen it so the upcoming iPhone can be more resistant to drops and scratches. While previously your glass would almost always shatter if you drop it, this won’t happen with Sapphire glass. Currently the iPhone 5S already uses a Sapphire Home button and camera lens to ensure that even when your drop your phone, the camera and Touch ID will still work without any issue.
Like mentioned previously, MKBHD has already gotten its hands on the panel that will be used in the iPhone 6, in a video (which you can check out above) he puts the glass through a series of scratch tests including, knives, keys, and even a flexibility test to show off the panel’s durability. The results are very impressive but in a new video Marques Brownlee takes the torture test to a whole different level.
All materials are ranked on a scale called the Mohs scale from 1 to 10 being 10 the hardest mineral available. A material that has a superior level can be used to damage a material of inferior level, but not the other way around. Sapphire has the second highest level at 9.0 while Gorilla Glass only has 6.8.
In the video we can see that the Sapphire glass isn’t as powerful as the 100% Sapphire home button. This has a pretty logical explanation: Price and flexibility of the display. By it self Sapphire isn’t very flexible, something that is required on a smartphone as you will want to be able to bend the device a little, this is why the glass panel is mixed with other materials to make it more flexible. Another reason is the price, a 100% pure sapphire display would be so expensive, that the already high price of an iPhone would cost much more.