According to ExtremeTech, your next smartphone might use sapphire glass instead of Gorilla Glass. Sapphire, reportedly "the hardest natural substance after diamond," already used "by the military to create transparent armor," may soon become cheap enough to be used "in a wide range of consumer products, such as smartphones, tablets, and other ruggedized devices."
At around three times the strength and scratch resistance of Cornings Gorilla Glass, sapphire glass would make an almost perfect smartphone screen. Theres one caveat: according to a market analyst, a sheet of Gorilla Glass costs around $3, while the same piece of sapphire glass would cost $30. Thanks to increasing competition, though, the cost of sapphire glass is dropping. It wouldnt be surprising to see a high-end smartphone (such as the iPhone) use a sapphire screen in the next few years. Its worth noting that the iPhone 5 already uses sapphire glass to protect the rear camera lens, so Apple is certainly aware of sapphires potential.
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