A new report filed by The Wall Street Journal today is the latest to claim that Apple’s next generation of iPhones will sport sapphire displays. In addition to commentary from analysts over how the more expensive material could impact costs for Apple, the WSJ report includes the following tidbit:
Apple is considering using sapphire screens in more-expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall, if it can get enough of the material, people familiar with the matter say.
Two things are notable in mention above. First, the WSJ mentions “two new, larger iPhones” as reports continue to describe both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model to be introduced with the latter size possibly available after the former. Next, the WSJ describes sapphire displays as possibly only being available on “more-expensive models” of the new iPhones.
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Currently Apple utilizes the more protective sapphire material on the latest iPhone lens cover and Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and the WSJ’s description says only the higher cost new iPhones could use that same material in the display to offset the added cost of the build material.
iPhone models within the same class are already differentiated by storage capacity, but the WSJ’s tidbit suggests the superior display technology could be exclusive to higher end (possibly higher storage capacity and thus more expensive) iPhones within the new class.
We profiled Apple’s manufacturing facility in the Mesa, Arizona-located plant last year where its sapphire material is procured. We’ve since seen updates on GT Advanced Technology’s partnership with Apple in delivering a major increase in sapphire material this year.
Whatever the case may be, we expect to see Apple introduce its new iPhone hardware at an event planned for early next month.