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Sources claim new iPhones will use 4.7-, 5.5-inch sapphire displays

updated 09:28 am EST, Wed February 12, 2014

Pixel density seen jumping to 441ppi

Apple is planning to ship two next-generation iPhones with 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, say sources for the South China Morning Post. The sources have allegedly seen the prototypes, and in spite of recent rumors, claim that the phones will use a sapphire protective layer. The Apple/GT Advanced sapphire plant in Arizona is believed to have the capacity to churn out tens or hundreds of millions of sapphire screen covers.

Both phones are also expected to bump their pixel densities up to 441ppi, versus the 326 found on the iPhone 5s and 5c. Current iPhone rivals are already near or over that figure; the Nexus 5, for instance, has a 445ppi rating for its 4.95-inch, 1080p screen.

Apple will supposedly stick with flat screens, however, instead of going with the curved ones some rumors have suggested. The Post lastly says that the iPhone 5c will be discontinued in favor of a 5s built using cheaper materials. This could mean that the 5s will simply be repackaged in the same plastic shell as the 5c, with necessary modifications.

by MacNN Staff




  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Apple went with Gorilla glass for a reason. We've all seen how easily Sapphire breaks under pressure. A larger screen will just make it more easy to break.
    They would be stupid to give up Gorilla glass.
    Enough of these "Sapphire glass" rumors... unless Apple wants to deal with more broken screens than they already do.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    They've been trialling the use of sapphire for the camera covers for years.

    The reason they haven't used sapphire for the displays is because it hasn't been possible at cost and volume. Not because Gorilla glass was better.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    I think the curved glass rumor was even more unlikely than using sapphire for the entire display.

    What function would curved glass serve? Apple designs their hardware with simplicity and usability in mind. They typically don't add gimmicky things that don't contribute to the overall function of the device.

    I can see Apple perhaps using curved glass on the edges of the screens to give a seamless look to the phone -- like a fusion of the metal and/or plastic casing and the screen -- but curving the actual display itself? Why? What purpose does that serve?

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    I think the curved glass rumor was mostly attributable to the rumored iWatch, where curved glass would be a benefit in maintaining a more natural shape for a wrist worn device as opposed to a strap interrupted by flat thingie.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    I can see a larger iPhone, but two new sizes, and that close together? Highly unlikely, especially if they are supposed to have different resolutions for each size. Apple's not giving up the "less fragementation" advantage. Plus, 5.5" is just freakishly large and too close to the iPad mini.

    No. This and some of the other rumors floating around seem to be pipe dreams of some morons that believe Apple needs to follow where Samsung has been (huge phablets, curved glass, etc.).

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    The reason they haven't used sapphire for the displays is because it hasn't been possible at cost and volume. Not because Gorilla glass was better.

    Uh, no... why else do you think that Steve Jobs made it such a big deal to speak with the rep. of Corning: a company that barely produced any of these so-called "Gorilla glasses" and had no idea what to do with them? Obviously Steve went out and found something better. Otherwise, he would have just stuck with Sapphire for the displays.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    "STUCK" with sapphire?

    What do you mean "stuck" with sapphire?

    My impression is that producing sheets of synthetic-sapphire glass in smartphone-display sizes and quantities simply has not been possible/feasible at all up to now.

    At least, NOBODY has been using it for anything of that volume and size, AFAIK.

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