All Evidence Suggests Next iPhone Will Have a Sapphire Display

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For a while now we’ve been following rumors that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be planning to use sapphire glass for the display of its upcoming iPhone 6. Evidence continues to pile up, so let’s take a look at the hints we’ve seen so far.

Last year Apple inked a $578 million deal with GT Advanced Technologies, an Arizona-based company that, among other things, manufactures sapphire. Part of that money will go toward a “next-generation, large capacity” advanced sapphire furnace that could presumably accommodate the large amounts of the material Apple would need to produce for iPhone displays.

To prepare for the increase in business, GT Advanced Technologies has started to “build out the facility in Arizona and staff the operation during the quarter,” according to its earnings report.

Soon it was uncovered that GT Advanced Technologies ordered “inspection tool components” that are specifically designed to inspect “display-grade components.” That’s another pretty strong hint that the company has big plans for sapphire. Then, Apple filed a patent titled “Oleophobic Coating On Sapphire,” which outlines a method of applying an oil-repelling coating on sapphire — perfect for protecting a glass surface from showing fingerprints that would otherwise mar the look of a big touchscreen.

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