iPhone 6 rumors continue flying, with the latest being that the screen could be made from scratch-resistant sapphire glass.
The glass holds up well, according to GT Advanced Technologies.
Jeff Nestel-Patt of GT told International Business Times that the technology “is virtually scratch free.” The glass is stronger than the Gorilla Glass used by some smartphones nowadays.
“ASF-grown sapphire’s durability and resistance to scratching makes it ideally suited for a wide range of cover and touch screen applications from ruggedized phones, camera covers, point of sale devices and smartphone and touch screen devices,” said Linda Reinhard, GT’s vice president of business development, in a statement.
Nestel-Patt said that the cost of sapphire glass is four times the cost of chemically strengthened glass, a big factor in whether it will be used in the next iteration of the iPhone.
The iPhone 6 could cost more, according to Investors.com.
Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Chris Caso, which is pegged to be released sometime in 2014, told the site: “We see the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher, to avoid the (profit) margin erosion that occurred when iPhone 5 launched.”
Caso added: “When iPhone 5 was launched, Apple’s phone margins declined because the new features (most notably the display) added cost to the bill of materials, yet the price point of the phone remained unchanged. Since we’re expecting a host of new features in the iPhone 6 (including a larger screen), we expect the bill of materials cost of the phone to increase as well.”
Apple launched the iPhone 5S and the lower-end iPhone 5C earlier this year, maintaining different prices for both.
Caso says that Apple “could get away with a $50 to $100 premium for a larger screen size iPhone 6.”
“We think such a move could avoid the margin erosion that occurred when the iPhone 5 was launched,” he said.