Apple is known to be a company that will go to any lengths to ensure products are on the cutting edge of design and functionality and today we get another reminder of that. It has been reported by the International Business Times that the company has just paid a total of $578 million to GT Advanced Technologies to speed up “the development of its next generation, large capacity ASF furnaces to deliver low cost, high volume manufacturing of sapphire material.”
If you have been following along with recent rumours about the iPhone 6 then you probably already know that Apple is expected to use Sapphire Glass for the display. This is because Sapphire Glass is nearly 3 times as durable as Corning Gorilla Glass currently used in iPhones.
Although Sapphire glass is already featured on the current iPhones, it is only for small components like the glass over the Touch ID sensor and camera of the iPhone 5s.
Jeff Nestel-Patt, marketing director at GT Advanced Technologies said the material is “virtually scratch free” and won’t suffer blemishes even if rubbed on concrete.
It isn’t just smartphones that Sapphire glass would be great for either, vice president of business development and product management Linda Reinhard said it is “ideally suited for a wide range of cover and touch screen applications from ruggedized phones, camera covers, point of sale devices and smartphone and touch screen devices. Other reinforced glass and cover screen technologies try to emulate what ASF-grown sapphire does naturally.”
We previously reported Apple was even investing in creating its own Sapphire glass manufacturing plant, so you can without a doubt expect Sapphire to make up a large part of future Apple products.