Sapphire-coated screens for the next iPhone appeared a step closer to becoming reality today, after it emerged that prototypes have passed a critical test on their way to market.
According to Chinese fansite Apple Daily, the tech giant's manufacturing partner Foxconn has worked up 100 iPhone 6 units equipped with a Sapphire-augmented screen at one of its factories in China.
Sapphire displays promise to be much more scratch-resistant and hard-wearing than the Gorilla Glass that has featured on Apple handsets since the iPhone 4.
Sapphire is already used as a coating for the iPhone 5S’s home button to ensure that wear and tear doesn't impair its secondary function as a fingerprint scanner.
However, incorporating sapphire into a screen is much more challenging for manufacturers, meaning that Foxconn’s success at this early stage represents something of a breakthrough.
Previous reports from last year indicated that Apple has agreements with GT Advanced Technologies to provide sapphire and machinery to process the material at Apple-affiliated factories.
The deal sparked speculation that Touch ID biometric security is also being considered for the iPad.
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