The iPhone 6 will not be made from sapphire glass, after analysis of the handset’s supply chain failed to reveal any smartphone cover glass.
Apple’s recent investment in sapphire glass plants in Arizona and Massachusetts prompted speculation the synthetically-grown crystal would be used for next iPhone’s entire display. But the material does not appear to have been sent to manufacturing factories ahead of the expected September launch, according to Trendforce’s LEDinside analysts.
Disappointingly low yield rates of sapphire glass mean that while the material may be used for the display of later versions of the handset, the launch model will use another reinforced form of glass.
The material is second only to diamond in its hardness, and is currently used in the iPhone 5s’ home button and camera lens cover.
The next iPhone, widely believed to be called the iPhone 6, is expected to be released in mid-September. Reports allege the model will come in two different sizes – 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches, and that the smaller of the two may be released first due to setbacks in the internal testing of the larger model.
The report also casts doubt over whether the much-rumoured iWatch’s display will be made from sapphire glass, as processing the crystal for use alongside flexible OLED panels could prove problematic, the analysts said.