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Kyocera Teases Launch of Sapphire Glass Displays

Kyocera Mobile, which has four decades of experience making sapphire glass, is working on sapphire phone displays. Take a guess why.

Kyocera Sapphire Shield

Mobile phone maker Kyocera is trying to make the most of the fact that, if the rumors prove true—and there's growing evidence they will—it will soon have something in common with Apple: sapphire glass.

Or maybe that's not quite right. Maybe the brag is more exactly that Kyocera has been making sapphire glass forever, and hey, look, here's Apple coming super-late to the game, planning to make sapphire glass displays for the iPhone 6.

Kyocera Mobile posted a video to YouTube, an excruciatingly plodding "teaser," to say that it has "over 41 years of experience synthesizing sapphire in everything from electronic components and LED lighting to high-end wristwatches."

"Coming soon," it added, is a "truly affordable, pure sapphire display"—the Sapphire Shield.

Should it be kind of embarrassing, really, to say you've been experts in the stuff for four decades, and still you didn't think to make a display for your smartphones out of it? That your sapphire display is coming soon, likely after Apple, which entered the industry early this year, shows off its own?

Beyond cringing, it's hard to know how to respond to the teaser. Or rather, to know what response Kyocera is expecting. (The video is so lame it's more of an inducement not to buy a Kyocera phone.)

Maybe, it's a calling card for Apple, which some analysts expect will sell record numbers of new iPhones this fall. If Apple can't make sapphire glass fast enough to meet demand, it now knows where to turn.

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