The sapphire and the smartphones – do they have future together?
What is the first thing on your mind when you hear the word “sapphire”? For many of us the word is associated with expensive jewelry. However the capabilities of this precious mineral are so amazing that it becomes more and more preferable material used for protection of delicate parts of modern devices. Some of the biggest manufacturers in the mobile world have begun to integrate the sapphire in the innovative handsets. It is mostly used for the making of displays, but lately we see the integration of the mineral in other parts of the devices. For example, the newly released Apple iPhone 5S arrives with a home button covered by sapphire. The qualities of the mineral are getting more and more appreciated by the companies. According to a research conducted by IHS, this trend will be growing in the next years.
So what is so special about the sapphire apart the amazing jewelry made by it? It is the second-hardest stone on the planet, right behind the diamond. The sapphire is widely used to cover camera lenses, screens and buttons to provide additional protection. The ingots of sapphire are measured by the kilometer. As you have probably guessed already, in the last year we can see a significant increasing of the demand for the mineral. The data consists of 32km in 2012. The expected demand until the end of 2013 is 54km.
Experts predict that in few years the demand will reach the impressive 84km. the integration of the mineral in the modern smartphones is expected to grow from the current 5% mostly for LED devices to 20% in just one year (until the end of 2014). One of the most valuable capabilities of the sapphire is its scratch-resistance and toughness.
The advantages of the mineral are yet to be explored. There are a lot of supporters to the theory that the sapphire displays are the future of the smartphones. On the opposite site are the supporters of the Gorilla Glass 3 technology, claiming to have even better capabilities in terms of durability and scratch-resistance of the screen.
What is your opinion? Do you think that the sapphire has a future in the tech world or it will fit the best in the jewelry industry?