Gadgets

If this is the iPhone 6 screen, it’s going to be a nearly indestructible device (video)

Above: The actual iPhone 5 next to the front panel of what may be the iPhone 6.

Gadget videoblogger Marques Brownlee continues testing a piece of glass he got a couple weeks ago that he believes is the front panel of the upcoming iPhone 6.

We don’t have conclusive proof that this is actually an iPhone 6 screen. But whatever it is, it appears to be a very hard, very flexible, and amazingly engineered material.

In a previous video, Marques attacked the maybe-iPhone-6 screen with keys, a knife blade, and even bent it under his shoe — all to no effect. Whatever this screen is made of, it’s both harder and more flexible than Gorilla Glass.

In this video, Brownlee attacks the panel with garnet and emery sandpaper — both coated with extremely hard minerals.

Based on his tests, Brownlee shows that the iPhone 6 screen he’s testing is not made of pure sapphire, because it gets scratched by garnet sandpaper — and, according to the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness, garnet is softer than sapphire. In fact, he uncovers an Apple patent that refers to a technique for modifying pure sapphire so it’s more resistant to chipping, which would explain the high flexibility of the screen.

But the iPhone 5 Touch ID home button is even harder: It doesn’t get scratched by garnet or by even harder emery sandpaper. Brownlee concludes that the iPhone 5’s home button is made of pure sapphire.

Watch the whole video for a good education on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness and what it might mean for the iPhone 6 if this is indeed the device’s glass front.

Here are some more videos on the supposed sapphire screen on the iPhone 6.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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25 comments
Jeffrey Thom
Jeffrey Thom

"Nearly indestructible smartphone screen." I'd like to see that.

Tracy Runge Wickens
Tracy Runge Wickens

That would be great for someone like me who's dropped my iphone5 a few times. It hasn't broke..yet. But....how much will it cost?

George Olaru
George Olaru

What's the use of an indestructible screen glass if the back is still made of cheap aluminum? Unfortunately Apple is not interested in giving you an everlasting phone because you have to buy the next one, a year later...

James Chanbonpin
James Chanbonpin

A great percentage of cases don't focus simply on screen protection.

Holden Ankles
Holden Ankles

At last! A phone I can chop and snort coke off of...

Hudson Barton
Hudson Barton

Frankly, I think you have to work pretty hard to scratch the surface of "gorilla glass."  My iPhone 4 which I have had for years is not at all scratched, and there's no protector on it.  Similarly my eyeglasses, which have a "scratch resistant" coating, have also fared very well.  I think everybody is making too much of this new screen's hardness, and not enough of its flexibility.


Moh's scale of hardness is not very precise, and it's also misleading.  The difference between the grades are not mere percentages but rather orders of magnitude.  The benchmarks that it uses produce yet more confusion.  For example,  it does not recognize that all garnets are not the same, ranging from 6.5 to 8.5.  It is fairly likely that the garnet you used came from Barton International which is approximately 8.5 on the scale, so if it would not scratch the screen even when applying pressure, that would be impressive.  Indeed, for many years Corning used this garnet to grind and polish its precision glass.



P Lam
P Lam

Wow! Almost as good as a Gorilla Glass screen, but Apple marketing and the faithful scream about it!  Certainly the most hyped screen ever!! (as if hype was a feature)

Steffen Jobbs
Steffen Jobbs

What's really funny is that Corning's CEO says Apple doesn't know what the hell it's doing by using anything other than Gorilla Glass 3 and that Apple knows nothing about designing display glass.  Corning has been in the Glass business for years and isn't going to be upstaged some non-glass making company like Apple.  Time will tell if Apple does, in fact, know how to design some sapphire coated glass that's tougher than Gorilla Glass 3.

William Su
William Su

I had this idea years before everyone else, but Is it really going to be 100% Al Oxide, or will it be like the other saph coated glass that the market has had for years now.

Damien Knight
Damien Knight

Samsung devices have had tough screen glass for several years. Apple is old technology. iPhone marketing is just brainwashing people.

Eshaan Sharma
Eshaan Sharma

Bye bye scratch/screen guards .. Spending extra money on them never appealed to me anyway

Chris Love
Chris Love

Good because I'm about to give up my iphone due to the shitty screen quality. Cracks way too easy

Mariz Melo
Mariz Melo

As soon as you don't spill some other on it :P

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

Diogenis Hercules Panagiotis I knew it wasn't going to be completely sapphire. That would be ridiculous

T-FRM DAO
T-FRM DAO

@P Lam you mug what gorilla glass screen do you know as resiliant as this. No phone has had a screen like this before, and i'd say the same whatever brand it was. Get a life you sad little fanboy talking crap

B N
B N

@Steffen Jobbs Just like all the phone companies weren't going to be upstaged at some non-phone making company like Apple. Oh wait. 

Daniel Hizgilov
Daniel Hizgilov

If it was 100% Al2O3, the glass would be very brittle and would break on impact. From what the guy in the video showed in his previous video, it is obvious that it isn't pure Sapphire and flexes incredibly well (like plastic almost) while retaining the properties of a sheet of glass. 

Daniel Hizgilov
Daniel Hizgilov

Samsung and Apple devices rely on the same screen manufacturer (corning) to make their glass (Gorilla Glass). There is no difference between the materials and both break just as easily. Sapphire on the other hand, at least in the compound that apple (who purchased a company that manufactures Sapphire glass) is using, has improved hardness and flexibility. Its not unbreakable and undamageable like real pure Sapphire or diamond, but it will be much more durable than Gorilla Glass. My S3 got scratched pretty bad from being with a few coins and a key in my pocket. So did my iPhone 5S which I got to replace it. It's not just a marketing gimmick. The material is actually great and will probably become the standard for touch screen glass in the near future. Apple is just popularizing and setting the trend that other tech companies will follow and improve on.

Tom Dauria
Tom Dauria

Watch the video and you will find that gorilla glass is already harder than your keys.  You don't need a screen protector to keep your screen from being scratched.  Well unless you carry sand paper in your pocket

ovi bl
ovi bl

I've seen two crack just this weekend. Girls dropping it on the pavement at clubs. One said it's the 3rd time lol

P Lam
P Lam

@Daniel Hizgilov 

It is true - that you are parroting Apple's marketing department's hype.  Many will.

ovi bl
ovi bl

Adding kinetic energy or any sort of force to a softer material can still result in scratching of a harder material. So keys could still scratch Gorilla Glass.

I haven't had a screen protector in years though on my Nexus phones and I've had a couple small scratches on my Nexus 4. Nexus 5 with Gorilla Glass 3 was fine so far.

I'm not an Apple fan but a sapphire coated laminate, which is what this is, could be more scratch proof.

Of course the best way is sapphire crystal like the Vertu Android phones, but those phones cost around $20000.

ovi bl
ovi bl

IPhones don't use Gorilla Glass, they use hardened glass, which scratches easier and sure as hell cracks easier.