The rumor that Apple’s iPhone 6 smartphones will feature sapphire glass displays is seeming more likely.
Marques Brownlee, an eloquent, young YouTube blogger (“vlogger”) who reports from what seems to be his bedroom, recently posted a video of himself holding what he said is the front glass of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 “straight off the assembly line.”
Working on the (very popular) assumption that Apple will release two iPhones this fall, one with a 4.7-inch display and the other with a 5.5-inch one, Brownlee states in the video, “This is important. Because of its existence, we can basically confirm that there will be an iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display, and we now know that this 4.7-inch model will have this display, not just Gorilla Glass.”
He adds that a rumor was circulating that only the 5.5-inch model would feature the sapphire glass. “But now we know that rumor’s not true,” he says, before going on to explain, as others have, that the benefits of sapphire glass are that it’s extremely durable and high quality. Brownlee shows the display in profile, noting that it’s literally paper thin and has 100 percent transparency—reasons why Apple uses sapphire glass on the iPhone 5S’ home button (which TouchID takes fingerprint images through) and the back camera.
Brownlee then stabs the display with a pretty intense knife, rubs his keys all over it, and does his best to twist and flex and snap the display, to no avail, proving its incredible strength.
The Guardian turned to Neil Alford, a professor in the department of materials at Imperial College in London, who said in a July 11 report that, judging by the video, it “could well be” sapphire glass.
Alford added, “I think Apple has been quite cunning.”
Apple this year opened factories in Mesa, Ariz., that are focused on sapphire glass production. While Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the opening of the first factory in January, he wouldn’t say what the glass would be used for.
Apple Is a Buy
Anticipation for the next iPhones is high, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley said in a July 11 research note to investors, increasing his target stock from $102 to $112.
“Apple will charge a premium for these larger larger-screen iPhones,” Walkley told investors.
He added that the global replacement rate of iPhone sales slowed during 2013, following the introduction of the iPhone 5.
“In retrospect, we believe the upcoming launch of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones are the form factors Apple should have brought to market, versus the iPhone 5 form factors,” Walkley wrote.
He added that his firm believes the combination of extended replacement rates and larger-screen models is positioning Apple for “record iPhone 6 sales.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: A correction has been made to this text. The glass is highly transparent, not opaque.