While it’s not yet certain that the iPhone 6 screen will get a sapphire layer, that’s certainly the way things look at present – providing a screen that is pretty much impervious to scratches (though no more resistant to breakage).

The problem with sapphire is it’s about ten times as expensive as Gorilla Glass. There have been vague suggestions that new manufacturing techniques might narrow the gap, but it still seems likely that Apple will have to sacrifice a bit of margin to introduce the material.

That’s likely a cost the company can afford, given the marketing benefit of an effectively scratchproof screen. But will we also see sapphire screens on iPads … ? 

If I’ve got my sums right, an iPhone 5S/5C has a total screen area of 4,656 mm2 while an iPad Air has a total screen area of 28,690mm2. That’s more than six times the surface area, and thus six times as much additional cost to absorb.

Will Apple reserve sapphire as an iPhone-only feature, in the same way it limited Touch ID to the iPhone 5S while the iPad Air did without? Or will it take the hit and introduce the sapphire layer across iPhone, iPad mini and iPad Air? And just how big a deal is sapphire to you anyway?

Let us know your views in the poll and the comments.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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