Why the iPhone 6 doesn’t have a sapphire glass screen

iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus
Before Apple’s long-awaited announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, there were rumors that they would come equipped with sapphire glass screens, which are more scratchproof than other smartphone screens. But, as we now know, the two versions of the iPhone 6 boast ion-strengthened glass screens, not sapphire screens.

Apparently, sapphire screens couldn’t pass drop tests.

While the original plan for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus called for sapphire screens, the super-hard material apparently failed to pass drop tests conducted by Apple suppliers, according to a report from VentureBeat, which cites IDC analyst Danielle Levitas. She says the drop-test failures and the high cost of sapphire glass screens may have nixed Apple’s original plans.

Related: iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4: The ultimate big-screen smartphone challenge

Timing may have been another reason for the absence of sapphire screens from the new iPhones. “The agreement between Apple and GT Advanced Technologies first came to light on Nov. 3, 2013, and 10 months is just not enough time to build out and qualify capacity to make tens of millions of iPhones by launch date,” according to Travis Hoium at The Motley Fool.

Sapphire crystal screens will be used for the Apple Watch, however — namely, the regular Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition, which sports an 18-karat gold case. The Watch Sport will come with an Ion-X glass face.

Levitas says there’s a chance Apple will include sapphire screens for future iPhones. Let the rumors begin — again.

Related: Hands-on with the iPhone 6

The first member of the iPhone family to dabble into “phablet” territory, the iPhone 6 Plus expands the size of Apple’s smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen. It sports a Retina HD display, a “new generation” of screens from Apple according to company vice president Phil Schiller. Apple’s new handset displays at a resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels, 185 percent more pixels than the iPhone 5S.

Despite the larger screen on the iPhone 6 Plus, the smartphone manages to maintain a slim frame. It measures in thinner than the iPhone 5S at just 7.1mm thick (compared to 7.6mm for the 5S).

With the newer, bigger screen on the iPhone 6 Plus comes changes to the user interface. Some changes will be small, like faces on display in the messaging app or additional keyboard keys for cut, copy, and paste. Others are more noticeable, like the ability to turn the iPhone 6 Plus horizontally and get a two-pane display. The home screen can also go horizontal on the iPhone 6 Plus. The interface takes many of its cues from the iPad, making the iPhone 6 Plus the mini version of the iPad Mini.

It will be available in stores on Friday, Sept. 19.

Computing

Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Wearables

Think this smartwatch doesn’t have a screen? Think again

This looks like a regular chronograph watch, but it holds a secret: It's really a smartwatch and even has a hidden screen, which is revealed only when you need it. We took a closer look at CES 2019.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Mobile

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Mobile

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.
Mobile

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Mobile

Having trouble logging in? Here’s how to reset your Apple ID password

To use any of Apple's services, you need to have an Apple ID and know your password. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with forgotten passwords and regain access to your account. Here's how to reset your Apple ID password.
Mobile

Turn to these apps to help you in your next hunt for a job

Looking for a job can be a stressful experience, but these days, a simple mobile app can help you to find and apply for jobs all over the country -- here are some of the best job search apps for iOS and Android.
Mobile

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

Chunky power bricks and slow charging could be a thing of the past with GaNFast technology from Navitas Semiconductors. By using an alternative to silicon, GaNFast reduces power consumption and boosts output.