Apple may use sapphire screens on both iPhone 6 models, iWatch

WSJ reports Apple may use sapphire screens on both iPhone 6 models, iWatch

Sapphire glass is once again being rumored for the unannounced but highly anticipated iPhone 6 and iWatch. Apple's $700 million investment in a sapphire manufacturing facility with partner GT Advanced Technologies is also once again being highlighted as part of the rationale for the move. However, not all versions of all devices might get the sapphire glass according to the Wall Street Journal:

Apple is considering using sapphire screens in more-expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall, if it can get enough of the material, people familiar with the matter say. Some analysts expect Apple to charge more for the phones than previous new models, because of increased component costs.

In the past, we've heard that sapphire screens may be reserved for the larger, more premium 5.5-inch iPhone. Apple this year is rumored to be debuting two different iPhone models, one with a 4.7-inch display and a larger phablet-sized 5.5-inch model. This report suggests sapphire will be used in both screen sizes and Apple may use sapphire on the more expensive options, which typically come with more storage capacity. This may allow Apple to drive consumers in purchasing more expensive phone models.

It shouldn't be too surprising that Apple has grand plans for synthetic sapphire given its huge investment. The material is currently used on the iPhone 5 as the camera lens cover and also on the iPhone 5s on the home button to protect the Touch ID sensor given sapphire's resistance to scratches and damage.

What do you think of Apple's strategy? Given that expensive luxury watches already employ a sapphire glass screen, the product's use on an iWatch seems natural. Should Apple drive consumers to pay more for sapphire on more premium priced iPhone 6 models? Would you pay more for sapphire on your next iPhone?

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Reader comments

Apple may use sapphire screens on both iPhone 6 models, iWatch


Except this behaviour, (artificially creating a separate "high end" model so people will pay for the expensive one), is something that Apple has never done and explicitly tries NOT to do.

They will all be the same, or they will not.


I doubt Apple would do that. All models will be the same. It doesn't make sense that they would make it so only 64 GB or whatever model would have sapphire. If it's on one, it's on all.

Agreed. It seems more likely that we would either see a modest price hike across all models or we won't see increased storage capacity this year to compensate for the increased materials costs.

+1 .. Not only that.. "considering" doesn't enter into it.. we're less than a month from Sept 9.. You don't, less than a month away, go... "Ahh.. think we should use Sapphire in only some of them?"..

Whatever they are using, Apple easily had a "go or no go", MONTHS ago.. They were in production.. in JUNE.. This isn't like a persons homework that you can do at the last minute.. LOL...

They've got 30+million iPhones to make.. this isn't like an ice-cream truck and can pick and choose what flavors you want to carry as you're walking out the door...

WOW.. just WoW... WSJ just hit an all time low for obvious headline click bait rumors.

I find it very funny that someone actually believes that Apple is debating right now about using Saphire in some of their iPhone models that are set to launch about a month from now.

They are well beyond this decision!

If they do in fact include Saphire in only certain models (which I don't think they will) then they made this decision a while back. Come on WSJ!

couldn't agree with you more but its interesting just talking about the possibility of including sapphire on only certain models. But anyways I can't wait to get my hands on the larger 6 lol. Crossing my fingers for the sapphire for both 6's though.

What do you call the iPhone 5s/5c situation, then? Times change, and companies that don't adapt eventually die. Apple knows this.

You guys said it. I would be disappointed should this happen. Analyst blowing wind though their arses as usual.

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Now it's is going to be interesting to see people's opinions on this one, nice one imore. Not sure whether people would pay more or would expect it to be included, because apple have always played to that luxury brand bracket anyway charging the higher price, so would people be willing to pay more, and would they care, and would they buy into a more expensive product, really don't know, for me probably yes I would, but I don't like the idea where you would then have to choose between features, unless... the sapphire was part of the price difference of the bigger screen and that's how apple would justify a higher price

Will be interesting to see if they do this, and not just with the larger iPhone 6 phablet. This is very un-apple like and I really cannot see them having one with regular screen and another most likely higher storage of the same phone with a sapphire screen. Would make sense to have them all for the 5.5 and keep all the 4.7 without it, since it was rumored the 5.5" iPhone 6 would be more expensive and sapphire currently costs more to make and use.

What do you all mean the 5c all thou it didn't have the same specs was considered a lower end device over the 5s I think the internals will be the same but higher end same size devices with more storage and better glass is doable this will allow them to make more quicker seeing as Sapphire glass takes more time to produce

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Uhh the iPhone 5C used "less premium" materials and was priced lower than the 5S. I think it's pretty believable. I think to differentiate the larger 6 they'll use the Sapphire rather than just saying: here are two exact phones, but one is larger. That's me though.

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We all know that right now all the gossip mongers are racing around trying to get views for their gossip, er I mean blogs. Let's face it, this latest posting and story from the WSJ merely repeats the same gossip that has already been made!

All I intend doing is my usual, listen, try to eradicate it from my mind, then wait until the announcement and regardless of whether they launch one model, two models or twenty models and whether they have Sapphire, Gorilla Glass or bullet proof glass stolen from the pope mobile I will be gleefully happy and on my way back to having an iPhone again for daily use because I am too freaking vain to wear my reading glasses in public and, like right now, too freaking vain to even wear them while typing this comment.

It's all these rumors that ruin the launch of each new generation of iPhones and iPads, when we all hear too much about them it loses the excitement and people invariably feel let down when it is exactly or not as good as the gossip has said or worse still, they blame Apple because it doesn't meet their expectations based on these rumors.

I think apple will keep the price the same (for the 4.7 inch) & both will have a sapphire display. I hope that they kill the 16 gigabyte and start out with 32. And I hope the bigger iphone isn't $100 more than the 4.7 inch, I know it will be more, but hopefully $50 more..? I hope so!!

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I don't think Apple will have a "premium" iPhone with sapphire. But then again, only the high-end 15" MacBook Pro with retina display has a dedicated graphics card so we shall wait and see.

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The sapphire screen is a great idea considering it prevents scratches a lot better than just typical glass but most people use screen protectors anyway so why bother with the extra costs especially when iPhones are already so expensive. Also If your screen breaks it will cost a lot more to replace. But if you are someone like me who doesn't have a case and never breaks their phone than this may be a good option but again those type of people are a slim margin. It's smart for the Iwatch but wether or not to use on the phone will have a lot to consider. Success is mostly about taking risks, but since Steve jobs past it seems that apple has been struggling and slowly falling behind.

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I don't believe in the 5.5" phone (not enough leaks at this point).

I don't believe they are debating whether to use Saphire less than a month from launch.

I do believe Apple will launch a 4.7" iPhone 6. Base memory 32gb up to 128gb. If it has Saphire then all the models do (or none of them do).

They'll move the 5s to the current 5c price and 5c to the current 4s price.

Unless they remove the 16GB version, I don't see them raising prices. I doubt you'll see sapphire on the 6c, or whatever they call it.

If Apple jacks up the prices of the entry level iPhone 6 then it seems like they will keep the 5s and lower its price after all? Btw sapphire was first used for the camera lens of the iPhone 5? Learn something new everyday? lol