Yet more speculation has emerged in regards to Apple’s sapphire crystal display plans, this time focusing on a newly published patent application. The patent in question covers a new method for applying an oleophobic coating on the already scratch and break-resistant material.
Oleophobic, for those wondering, is simply a fancy term for a coating that resists smudging and reduces the presence of oily fingerprints. Apple currently applies an oleophobic layer to the standard glass displays on current iPhone and iPad models along with a hydrophobic coating for added protection against water (the new sapphire patent briefly mentions hydrophobic protection, as well).
The method with which Apple plans to apply fingerprint protection to sapphire crystal display glass varies substantially from current procedures. Sparing the details, the process allows for the coating to be applied in bulk before the displays are cut to size. Currently, a coating must be applied individually to each pre-cut screen.
It’s fair to say that it is no longer a question of if Apple will introduce sapphire displays but only when. While the popular notion is that Apple is preparing the hardened display glass for use with upcoming iPhone models, there is still some doubt as to whether or not production will be up to speed in time for the introduction of this year’s edition. If sapphire display glass does not debut with the iPhone 6, it could first be outfitted to Apple’s long-rumored iWatch.
With Apple ramping up production capabilities at a new Arizona factory, most believe it isn’t too far a stretch to expect devices with sapphire glass to arrive sometime this year. Regardless, it is more than crystal clear that Apple sees the new material as a big part of its future plans.