Kyocera teases the Sapphire Shield, but keeps quiet about when, or if, we can buy one

Sapphire crystal is one of this year’s hottest mobile trends, despite only really being used by luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu, but as Apple gears up to (we think) use a sapphire panel on one of its future products, so other companies are jumping aboard the bandwagon. The latest is Kyocera, and it’s talking about a new product called the Sapphire Shield.

Unhelpfully, Kyocera hasn’t explained exactly what the Sapphire Shield is, forcing us to take an educated guess. Confirmed in a short promotional video, it’s referred to as “a truly affordable pure sapphire display,” which could mean one of several things. The two most likely being a panel it’ll sell to other smartphone manufacturers, or a sapphire screen protector sold to the public.

If it’s the former, a promotional video like this would be an unusual choice to advertise its forthcoming availability, making the latter seem more probable. However, because Kyocera hasn’t confirmed anything about the Sapphire Shield outside the video, it may end up being neither of these possibilities. Sapphire crystal is known for being almost impossible to scratch, and extremely tough. Outside of the mobile industry, it’s most commonly used on expensive watches.

Kyocera has made a name for itself building rugged, durable smartphones such as the Hydro Vibe, and displays for the automotive and electronics industry, so making super tough glass panels – for us or other companies – keeps it firmly within its niche. Plus, strengthened glass screen protectors – often featuring Gorilla Glass, a sapphire competitor – have been becoming more popular too, and capitalizing on the interest in sapphire could mean an exciting new product line for the company.

That’s all we have to go on at the moment, and the video only mentions the Sapphire Shield is coming soon, so we’ll update here when more information is revealed.

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