Using Sapphires to Create Better iPhone Screen?

Aaron Flint posted on January 30, 2014 12:00 :: 961 Views

When the below picture of the Sapphire ring flashed across my screen, I couldn’t help but notice the story.  Montana is well known for our sapphires- especially Yogo Sapphires from Central Montana.  We’re also known for some great manufacturers in that same area of Montana.  So why not merge the two and help build stronger screens for phones, tablets, and other gadgets? 

That’s what Apple is apparently working on in Mesa, Arizona if the below reports are accurate: (awaiting official response from Apple) 

From the website Circa:

This high-tech manufacturing process will create a critical new sub-component of Apple Products.” — James Patton, Apple’s Deputy Director of Global Trade Compliance

Sapphire already protects the camera lens on Apple’s iPhone 5. It’s the second-hardest natural material, after diamond. It’s twice as hard as the next hardest material, topaz.

A sapphire-based display could be as much as three times as hard as one made of Gorilla Glass, Corning’s proprietary display material, now found in many mobile devices. Sapphire displays are less likely to crack and break. apparently first broke the news: Apple aggressively pushing to take Arizona sapphire plant live in February for ‘critical’ product component

In November of last year, Apple announced that it would be opening up a new manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona. Since that time, little information has come out about the plant except that it would be utilized to manufacture sapphire crystal for future Apple devices. The plant will be operated by Apple in tandem with GT Advanced Technologies. Earlier this year, we learned via (now removed) Apple job listings that the plant would involve components for future iPhone and iPod product lines.

Now, we have tracked down documents (with the help of analyst Matt Margolis) showing correspondence between U.S. Foreign Trade Zone officials and Apple’s Deputy Director of Global Trade Compliance. The documents were made public today by the Foreign Trade Zones Board. The papers indicate the materials Apple will utilize to manufacture sapphire, share details about Apple’s “aggressive” plan to take the facility live, and provide a description of how the sapphire will be used in future Apple products…

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