by Joe White
November 29, 2013
Apple is hoping to equip its next-generation iPhone with an "unscratchable" sapphire glass screen, and has invested more than half a billion dollars in an attempt to speed up the development of this promising technology. The news comes in a recent report from the International Business Times, which explains that Apple has handed the cash over to GT Advanced Technologies. You'll remember, of course, that this is the same Arizona-based company Apple signed a sapphire glass deal with earlier this month. Though most imagined that Apple merely hoped to manufacture sapphire glass for small sections of its smartphones (such as the camera, or Touch ID), it now appears that bigger plans could be in the pipeline. Because according to the International Business Times, Apple has paid some $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." The publication adds:
This move is meant to keep the costs of the sapphire screen lower which will be allegedly utilised on Apple's next flagship smartphone - the iPhone 6.Jeff Nestel-Patt, marketing director with GT Advanced Technologies, explains that the more durable sapphire glass "is virtually scratch-free," and some 2.5 times stronger than the much-used Corning Gorilla Glass. Though Apple indeed uses sapphire glass to protect its camera and Touch ID-equipped Home button, it looks like an expansion of this technology could indeed be in the cards. Besides a sapphire glass display, rumors have claimed that we'll see a major redesign with the iPhone 6. Calls for an Apple-made "phablet" could result in a bigger smartphone, possibly offering a screen as large as 5.7-inches. Of course, Apple's iPhone 5s only reached the market two months ago. As such, we've got a while to wait until we hear news from Apple concerning a successor to the popular handset. See also: Yahoo Confirms "iPhone" Takes The No. 1 Position In 2013's Top Tech Searches, Apple Combats Michael Bromwich's Beastly Legal Bill In Brand New Filing, and Parlez-Vous Anglais? Popular Translation iOS App iTranslate Gets Updated For iPad.