iphone 6 5

The Wall Street Journal reports this afternoon that Apple plans to use sapphire crystal displays in higher-end models of both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models this fall. The news directly contradicts recent reports, which said the company had scrapped such plans due to complexity and cost.

According to today’s report, though, the firm is still very much pondering the idea, and plans to move forward with it if it can get enough sapphire produced in time for launch. The outlet says that Apple may charge more for the phones due to the material’s higher costs, a long-running theory this year…

The Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi reports:

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. Some analysts expect Apple to charge more for the phones than previous new models, because of increased component costs.

If the use of sapphire leads to fewer broken screens, Apple may save money in warranty costs. But Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi says those savings likely wouldn’t offset sapphire’s higher cost.

If Apple doesn’t plan to raise the prices for the sapphire-covered iPhones, the higher build cost would have a major impact on Apple’s profit margins. But this wouldn’t be the first time the company has paid big bucks to differentiate its products from its rivals—see its $360 million AuthenTec purchase.

We’ve seen several [alleged] iPhone 6 front panels leak over the past month or so, and although they were originally believed to be sapphire-covered, further testing eventually proved that this wasn’t the case. The consensus is now that they’re coated in some type of hybrid sapphire-Gorilla Glass material.

There are many advantages to sapphire crystal, as it’s a very thin, high quality material. It’s also extremely durable, and thought to be virtually un-scratchable—making it the perfect candidate for a smartphone display. Costs and complex production, however, have kept it out of reach for most manufacturers.

In addition to larger, (possibly sapphire-covered) displays, the iPhone 6 is expected to feature a new hardware design and several internal improvements including an A8 chip, enhanced cameras, and some new sensors for tracking various activities. It’s believed that Apple plans to unveil it on September 9.

  • MrE23

    The prices won’t change- they never do. Apple will take the hit or wait until there is none.

    • Andy

      The price never changes? Yeah right… When I bought the iPhone 4S 16GB in 2011, it cost €599, 2 years later the iPhone 5S cost €699.

      • Kim Olsson

        Odd, price has been exactly the same in Sweden since iPhone 3G, +- a couple bucks.

      • R4

        It’s been the same in most countries

      • Someshwar

        It might be because of USDGBP FX rate. I am from India, when USDINR was hovering around 50.00, iPhone 4S costed ₹44,500. Now USDINR is 60.00 (approx.) and iPhone 5S was launched at ₹54,500.

  • James Gunaca

    I think two versions of both sizes is unlikely. Either they’ll have sapphire displays or they won’t. They won’t sell a 4.7in with & without sapphire and a 5.5in with & without sapphire. Just silly.

    • leart

      Maybe their intention is to have different qualities and prices so can get more audience

      • James Gunaca

        Haven’t seen much of that from them in the past but we shall see.

      • leart

        They tried this with 5c

      • Bob

        Apple = Simplicity

    • Jonathan

      Think of it, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s.

      iPhone 6 with Sapphire = iPhone 5s
      iPhone 6 without Sapphire = iPhone 5c

      Kinda like that, I guess? Just a thought..

      • Or maybe reserved for 64GB and 128GB models

      • James Gunaca

        That sounds a little more reasonable…but then you’re talking about a lot more variations.

        5s – 3 colors – 3 storage capacities = 6 variations
        5c – 5 colors – 3 storage capacities = 15 variations
        (excluding carrier from these estimates)

        If you introduce two screen types *and* two screen sizes it gets even worse

        6(4.7) – 3 colors – 3 storage capacities – 2 screen types = 12 variations
        6(5.5) – 3 colors – 3 storage capacities – 2 screen types = 12 variations

        That’s 24 different models, which isn’t a stretch from the 21 different models of the 5s/5c release but that assumes there is no longer a C model. If there is a C model then it gets even more convoluted. The more choice there is, the more cost on the assembly line, the more difficult to project sales and so on.

        I just don’t think it’s likely.

  • Sachin

    iPhone will use sapphire display then iPhone 5.5 inch will be sapphire. Then iPhone sapphire hybrid not pure, then not coming in sapphire. AND NOW, maybe coming in hybrid or pure sapphire.
    PS – Enough with the rumors and put stop this cyclicity and just show us the phone.

  • Jason B

    Why would Apple save money in warranty costs for broken screens? I didn’t know Apple covered broken screens under warranty, other than a manufacturing defect. We are the ones that would save money…

    • I might be wrong but if you have Apple Care+ I believe it covers accidental damage such as screen breakages…

      • Onyxus_Music

        Yes, but the replacement comes with a fee of, I believe, $49. Plus, you only get two replacements for accidental damage under AppleCare+.

      • chris125

        Well you are paying for that, but apple doesn’t cover broken screens otherwise.

  • Jamessmooth

    “…of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall”. Doesn’t sound like he’s specifically saying there will be a 4.7″ and a 5.5″. Is it possible that both “new” phones will be 4.7″? An iPhone 6 and a 6C, maybe?

    • Adam Bowman

      I wonder. I really hope there will be a 5.5″ but I haven’t seen as many leaked images of it as the 4.7″.

      And if there are sapphire versions of the two new iPhones, I also wonder what they’ll be called.

      4.7″ = iPhone 6
      5.5″ = iPhone Air?
      4.7″ with sapphire = iPhone 6s (sapphire)??
      5.5″ = iPhone Airs???

      This article makes me confused.

      One way or the other, I can’t wait for a bigger screen.

  • Wieslaw Zajac

    WSJ is very inacurate when speaking about Apple. I think they just got the news iDB was annoucing 6 months ago.

  • Tom

    We need sd card

    • For what. Do you plan on switching it once its full or just syncing it to your computer so you can store more data. If thats the case you really don’t need one.

  • Tom

    Sd card slot

  • chris125

    I can’t see apple doing this. I could see them doing this exclusively for the iPhone 5.5″ to be a point as to why it costs more, and add another selling point over the 4.7″ iPhone, but can’t see them making certain 4.7″ with sapphire and others without.

  • JayDee917

    I just hope the iPhone 6 looks like the one pictured in the article, and not like the leaked parts we keep seeing. Those lines are thin and the phone is beautiful, the leaked parts look like shit…

  • DroidGuy360

    Why protect such a crappy screen? Every rumor still has the resolution below 1080p. Its pathetic that after 7 years of iphones, only now is it getting an hd screen, but still not even full HD. Everyone else went HD, full HD, and now qHD, and here comes apple, last again, and still behind everyone else. But they’ll throw that word “retina” in there and the iZombies will camp out and go crazy and buy millions of phones. Pathetic.

    • Dao Sasone

      I tried to explain that to many people but they are so clouded by the bs apple feeds them. many don’t know the true term of “retina” display. one way or another they will realized they been an isheep for awhile lol

    • Dor Pinhas

      I’m gonna reply to you and to that @daosasone:disqus below.
      You’re the pathetic if you think qHD res on 4″ display is necessary, because actually it’s not.
      Many does know the term “retina”, that’s optimized res for small displays, beyond that it’s just optical illusion.
      Android manufacturers just make big screen with huge res to sell more units, because as the numbers get higher the more people buy it. they’re desperate.
      4K displays aren’t necessary AT ALL on 4″ or 5″ or 6 or 9″ displays.
      If you’re a human been you cant make the different on such small displays.
      “retina” term will be enhanced , they’re probably rename it this year to adjust the new res.

      • Dao Sasone

        haha another isheep. retina display represents the average distance between the user and device. at a certain distance even a 480 screen can become retina display. it depends on the the conditions of ones eye sight. hence the term retina. theres a reason why apple has kept the resolution at 640 for so many generation of their iPhone. because it works perfectly for an average person who holds their device in an average distance. there’s no optical illusion involve here. higher resolution screen is designed to increase viewing distance. hence ur tv. when the screen gets bigger the resolution and ppi must increase due to quality and clarity. if its not necessarily as you implied then why is apple upping the resolution on their upcoming devices? y not keep it at 640 and 4.7? because it will look like shit as it always has been.

      • Dor Pinhas

        haha another bloody FANDROID. yeah, you’re FAN DROID.
        Retina display represents the OPTIMAL distance between the user and device indeed but because of it’s small display.
        Higher res is NOT increase viewing distance because the displays are f*cking small for your eyes to realize the difference.
        But of course you’re too dumb to understand it, youre in the race of the higher numbers like must people and don’t understand the logic behind that.
        Keep telling yourself that 4K res is noticeable on 5″ display.
        Fandroid.

      • Dao Sasone

        u realy need to wake up isheep. 1st of all stop assuming. im a fan of any company thats has better and current tech. dont matter if its ios or droid. 2nd you can tell the difference. compare ur crappy 640 to a 1080 resloution screen. higher resolution does increase viewing distance. so ur saying from 2 blocks aways u will be able to see a electronic billboard that has 640 resolution clearly and the same as a billboard that has 1080? i had a 5s and i mount it on my dashboard. it was so hard for me to read on the web pages. i traded it for a gs4. now i can read and see clearly. huge diffference. wake up isheep. wake up. I guess isheeps gets mad when they are affended by the truth and the truth sucks like a vacuum.