Will Your Next Smart Phone Have a Sapphire Screen?

When it comes to smart phone screens, strength and durability is an integral feature to prevent a cracked smart phone. Technology has looked to sapphire as a means to create the strongest mobile phone screens.

A recent report in MIT’s ‘Technology Review’, suggests that synthetic sapphire would be a near-indestructible alternative to the durable glass that is currently used in may smart phone screens. Synthetic sapphire is made using the same methods sapphire is created in nature. A process involving the heating and melting aluminum dioxide, and allowing it to crystallize creates a synthetic sapphire. This study identifies sapphire as the world’s second most rigid material, and a smart phone screen made of this would be protected against scratching and cracking. Only diamonds are considered stronger.  

cracked smart phone screenNo more scratching from other items in your pocket. A drop on the ground could mean catastrophe for your smartphone screen. It seems that we have all experienced the frustrating visit to the mobile phone store, to replace your cracked smart phone screen. Apple uses man-made sapphire to guard the camera lens of its iPhone 5. The main concern with switching to sapphire from the current highly durable glass used in most smart phone screens is cost. ‘Corning’s Gorilla Glass’ is currently used for most smart-phone screens. This highly durable, light weight- glass is easy to work with and can be shaped without losing brawn. It is estimated that sapphire screens will cost ten times more than the popular ‘Corning Gorilla Glass’ screens which at this point is too high to apply affordably to current smart phones.

The MIT study estimates that the sapphire screen would be a few times stronger than the ‘Gorilla’ screens. This may not justify such an increased cost, especially with stronger versions of the ‘Corning’s Gorilla Glass expected in the future.  An aftermarket sapphire protective case to cover smart phone screens is a viable option that won’t increase the cost of the actual phone.