Smart phones are all set to get the bejeweled look, albeit a little differently than you would expect! Instead of diamond studded front panel or a semi precious stone embedded back cover, the iPhone is going for sapphire coated displays. Again, sapphire glass to adorn the phone’s display is very different from expectations. There is no gleam of its trademark blue seen on earrings, rings and necklaces but it is clear, hard and robust. The material is synthetically grown from a starter crystal and companies cut the substance with diamond tipped cutters to deliver wafer thin sheets that can be coated on phone or tablet displays.
The first to sport such a display is the iPhone 5 with a layer of sapphire over the phones regular Gorilla Glass display. There is no visual evidence of an additional layer but the strength of the cover becomes apparent when the phone is dropped or an abrasive substance is rubbed on it. Even with repeated strikes using a stone or a sharp pen, there is absolutely no effect on the sapphire layer. The Gorilla Glass screen by itself is prone to damages from harsh contact but the sapphire layer remains clear and unaltered.
In addition to its hardness, sapphire is rigid and can withstand very high temperatures so your phone is protected in extreme heat conditions. Synthetic sapphire is already used in lasers, lenses, expensive watches and LED TVs. Making its way into smartphone screens, the addition of a sapphire layer to the display makes the phone highly durable. Combined with a rugged build, phones sporting this display will be virtually indestructible!
Currently, only the demo unit of iPhone 5 sports such a display but it could soon come to mainstream consumer phones, at a higher cost of course. Companies like Samsung and HTC will soon feature this screen in their new models, along with Apple’s offering.