While the Apple and GT Advanced Technologies sapphire glass partnership is expected to yield über-tough sapphire glass screen covers for Apple’s iOS devices, so far all we’ve seen is sapphire used to protect the camera and Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s.
Given the lack of confirmation from the two companies, it is interesting that Paul Matthews, a former GT product manager, outright claims on his LinkedIn profile (via TechViking) that he played a key role in convincing Apple to use sapphire for display covers on “mobile devices.”
From Matthews LinkedIn profile:
Worked with GT Advanced Technology to help market and sell the idear [sic] of sapphire as a cover screen for mobile devices to Apple. […]
After marketing and selling the ASF [advanced sapphire furnace] into the LED market targeted mobile screen covers as a market for growth, conducted a focused marketing campaign and developed a cost model across the supply chain that has brought sapphire to Apple’s mobile display
Matthews spent three years at GT before joining Applied Materials. He doesn’t identify the “mobile devices” the sapphire will be used for, the iPhone is obviously the first device that comes to mind. The material is also likely to be used on Apple’s much-rumored “iWatch” wearable device.
Rumors have come down on both sides of the sapphire-glass-on-the-iPhone-6 issue, with some saying the new handset will boast sapphire glass to protect its screen, while others claim it will be available only on “high-end” iPhones, or will miss this generation of the iPhone completely.
Apple’s event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, CA, will kick off Tuesday, September 9th at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern Time. The company is expected to debut its next-generation iPhone(s) at the event, and will also likely show of its wearable device, the “iWatch.” As usual, MacTrast will be covering the event as it happens. Be there, or be square.