By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 07/08/2014
I still remember a poem from French class, 30-plus years ago, that includes the line "Je plie, et ne romps pas" which translates to "I bend, and do not break." It is the sentiment of a tree that survives by bending with the wind rather than trying to maintain its posture and thus lasts longer than a larger tree. Apple is trying to make screens that bend but do not break, and the key to that may be their new sapphire factories which is expected to replace Corning's Gorilla Glass, which had been used in all iPhones to date.
Sonny Dickson has been accurate with rumors in the past, and now there's a new video to check out. Sonny's video shows an iPhone 6 "glass" screen, presumably made of sapphire, being bent between two hands. It's a scary scene for those of us who have experienced a broken iPhone screen, but ultimately reassuring, if this is to be the next generation of iPhone screens. There are those who say this isn't sapphire because sapphire is too hard too bend, but they said that about glass, and Corning's Gorilla Glass can bend a bit as well. The real test will be in drop tests, which is how most iPhone screens get cracked.
If accurate, this demonstrates just how important the switch to sapphire may be for Apple. Even though replacing screens at $100 to $150 a shot (or charging for AppleCare) can be a nice revenue stream, it reflects poorly on Apple that iPhones are so fragile. With the even larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models coming, a bigger screen needs even more protection. By all accounts, the sapphire screen fits the bill.