When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / News / iPhone 6 could have an unscratchable sapphire glass-coated screen, embedded with solar cells

iPhone 6 could have an unscratchable sapphire glass-coated screen, embedded with solar cells

Apple will instantly blast to the top of the innovation food chain if the latest rumours prove to be true

The iPhone 6 could blow us all away with a new sapphire-coated glass display that has solar cells embedded directly into it.

An all-sapphire screen would be impressive enough in its own right, given that nothing short of a diamond can scratch its surface, but it’s what could theoretically be hidden beneath the screen’s layers that’s really got us excited.

The rumour comes from investor Matt Margolis, who has been following Apple’s acquisitions and patents rather closely over the years. So, where to begin?

READ MORE: iPhone 6 preview 

iPhone 6 could have an unscratchable sapphire glass-coated screen, embedded with

For starters, Apple has filed solar patents which will theoretically allow it to power its iDevices directly through solar cells built into their screen coverings.

That might not mean much on its own, particularly given the number of crazy patents manufacturers file on a regular basis, but there are other clues which add meat to this particular rumour bone. Not least that Alcatel showed off a prototype with just such a technology at CES this month – and it was almost completely transparent.

Apple has already posted and filled a position for a Thin Films Engineer with solar experience, and it’s also recently advertised a position for a Manufacturing Design Engineer position which includes scribing and PVD coating – both related to thin solar cell films and laser etching.

As if that wasn’t enough, Apple signed a US$578 million deal with GT Advanced Technology last November in a deal which provides them with sapphire materials.

This deal managed to reduce the cost of GT Advanced Technology’s sapphire screens from US$13-$18 each to US$3-$5 each. A Gorilla Glass display costs US$3, so a full sapphire display has now become cost-effective for Apple to utilise in bulk.

While the iPhone 5s uses sapphire to protect its camera lens and Touch ID Home button, a recent report by Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily states that Apple has already created at least 100 iPhones with full sapphire-coated displays, hinting at its future intentions.

Thinner iPhones, workable iWatches

iPhone 6 could have an unscratchable sapphire glass-coated screen, embedded with

Put all of the pieces together, and it looks like we could be getting an iPhone with an unscratchable screen that can charge it up throughout the day.

The iPhone 6 could however become even thinner, as a smaller battery could be used to reduce bulk, while the screen’s solar cells make up for the lost juice.

The mythical iWatch would also benefit greatly from this magical screen technology – scratch-resistance is an important facet of any premium watch, and battery life is one of the key issues facing all wearables.

READ MORE: iWatch preview

We’re seeking further comment to find out whether this rumour has any basis in reality, and we’ll update this story when we get it.

[Seeking Alpha via Forbes]

Profile image of Esat Dedezade Esat Dedezade Contributor


Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22