A well-known leaker of Apple news may have provided hard evidence that the next iPhone will come with a scratch-resistant sapphire glass display.
In a video on YouTube, Marques Brownlee demonstrates what is apparently a front panel from the iPhone 6, straight off Apple’s assembly lines. He bends the panel under his sneaker, stabs at it with a knife and scrapes at it with a set of keys, yet the display seems no worse for the wear. He also notes that the glass measures 4.7 inches diagonally, marking an increase in screen size from the 4-inch iPhone 5S.
Brownlee says he received the display from Sonny Dickson, a well-known leaker who has gotten a hold of other pre-release iPhone components in the past. (Dickson himself has posted his own bend test and size comparison videos of the sapphire glass display.)
As ExtremeTech points out, Brownlee doesn’t subject the glass to any impact tests. While sapphire is nearly scratch-proof, it’s also quite brittle and could be susceptible to damage from drops on its own. However, Apple patents and other circumstantial evidence suggest that the front panel is actually a laminate of sapphire and another cheaper material. This could bring costs down while also helping the display survive a hard impact.
Of course, we won’t know about the iPhone 6’s display until Apple makes an official announcement about the phone. There’s still no consensus on a release date for the iPhone 6, but a September launch seems likely.