updated 12:39 pm EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
Korean media claims sapphire glass samples sent for testing, evaluation
Samsung and LG are reportedly considering the possibility of incorporating sapphire glass into their future products. Both companies have allegedly contacted sapphire glass producers for samples, which could potentially lead to each releasing smartphones and tablets protected by the material, something that Apple already uses to protect the camera lens and Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s, and could use on the next iteration of the iPhone.
Korean media reports spotted by G for Games claims the two are working with existing sapphire glass manufacturers on test pieces. While both allegedly passed on the material last year due to its cost, LG and Samsung are apparently taking another look at the feasibility of the material, especially considering the interest from other device producers in using it, with the possibility of the two companies investing to increase production if it is viable.
Apple, meanwhile, is working hard to open its sapphire manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona. Built in partnership with GT Advanced Technologies, inventors of a lower-cost production process for the glass, the creation of the facility points to potentially greater usage of the material in Apple products, with the most logical targets being touchscreens on iPhones and iPads, especially considering the targeted completion date in June is just ahead of Apple's fall release window.