In an interview with the Guardian, Professor Neil Alford of the department of materials at Imperial College, London has revealed that it is very likely that the purported iPhone 6 front glass shown off in recent videos is sapphire.
After reviewing Marques Brownlee video, Professor Neil Alford said, “In my opinion the screen being shown off in the video could well be a sapphire screen. If you make sapphire thin enough, and it’s flaw free, you can bend it quite considerably because it has an enormous strength.”
“I think they will be doing some sort of a lamination – binding different crystal cuts of sapphire together – boosting the toughness of the material, while they may also have induced some sort of a strain in the surface of the glass – either compression or tension – which means that it has extra strength,” Professor Neil Alford told the Guardian.
Professor Neil Alford told the Guardian that Apple consulted him 18 months ago on manufacturing sapphire, he now believes the company has achieved their goal.
“I remember the Apple folk coming to speak to me about 18 months ago to discuss sapphire screens,” remarked Alford. “They’ve obviously been busy since then, working with a sapphire manufacturer.”
“I think Apple have been quite cunning,” Alford told the Guardian. “What I think they’ve done is make a screen out of sapphire, which is incredibly scratch resistant, incredibly hard and has a high elastic modulus – meaning it’s very stiff.”
Professor Neil Alford also said that he is amazed that Apple has been able to accomplish this feat.
“It’s not a surprising thing to do, but it’s quite a large area they’re producing and that’s really quite a challenge. I’m pretty impressed with that, actually,” said Alford to the Guardian.