We’ve all been there, haphazardly leaving our precious smartphone on the edge of a cliff or on the side of a table for it to fall and smash into a thousand pieces before our very eyes.
Now, we know that this is highly unlikely on a daily basis, but a mere scratch can so easily send us into depression that our expectations for the strongest, fastest and ‘smartest’ gadgets can hardly keep up with the output of new technology.
With the impending release of the iPhone 6, yesterday’s unveiling may have satisfied many Apple fans with the promise of a sleeker design, next-generation motion compressor, enhanced camera and the new IOS 8 operating system; but what about protection?
Speculation had been rife surrounding Apple’s recent partnership with a mineral specialist company, yet any dream of flaunting your new iPhone with the latest scratch-resistant material were put down quicker than you could say Flappy Bird.
It seems that we must turn our attention to the Far East, where China’s biggest handset maker, Huawei, will release the world’s first smartphone to boast Sapphire Glass protection.
Although some of you may have never heard of Huawei (and are struggling to pronounce it), Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is China’s and the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, overtaking Ericsson in 2012.
The company was established back in 1987 as a small privately owned company with a registered capital of only 2100 yuan (c. £2100). Yet since its first overseas contract two decades ago, it has grown exponentially; 140,000 employees stationed globally in 21 R&D institutes. Huawei’s products and services have been deployed in more than 140 countries and recorded a staggering $3.8 billion profit in 2010.
However, what’s truly special about Huawei is their flagship Ascend smartphone series, which has continued to shake the market with each new release. The Ascend P6 holds the title of the world’s thinnest ever smartphone and its successor, Ascend P7 SE, will soon be the solution to those with butter-fingers.
Despite the majority of smartphones being designed with Gorilla Glass, they are still susceptible to scratches and being smashed – Huawei’s answer to this is Sapphire Glass.
Sapphire Glass is the hardest material in nature after diamonds. It is used in LED lighting, high-end jewellery and military equipment such as submarines and rocket windows. Sapphire crystals are created by applying high heat to purified aluminium oxide in a cylinder called a boule, which is then sliced into thin wafers and polished to form products.
Thus, taking extra precautions to keep your phone from falling to its demise is going to be a thing of the past; you may choose to use it as shooting practise during a game of paintball or even drop it from The Shard; the possibilities are endless!
But why is Apple not delivering a Sapphire Glass iPhone 6?
A main reason for this could be the expensive price of mass producing products with the material – finished sapphire glass covers are estimated to be worth 40-45, in comparison to Gorilla Glass at 10, which is evidently why sapphire glass has been limited to high-end premium products.
Nonetheless, sapphire glass boasts a wide range of capabilities for future smartphones ensuring an imminent rise in competition among handset companies to meet the demands of consumers.
Greater touch-sensitivity and the ability to create more faceplate cuts than the bulky bar-type phone design are just two gems of Sapphire Glass.
The limited edition Ascend P7 Sapphire Edition will be released later this year.