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Apple May Use Sapphire Screens on Higher-End iPhones

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Apple May Use Sapphire Screens on Higher-End iPhones

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BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 13: A general view of a red lantern lamp is seen in front of the Apple's Beijing flagship store on January 13, 2012 in Beijing, China. Apple with China's leading telecommunications carrier, China Unicom, began to sell Apple's iPhone 4S at the Chinese mainland today. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Apple is spending $700 million on creating phones with a harder synthetic material that can protect more than glass -- but expect synthetic sapphire to only appear on Apple's higher-end screens.

The synthetic sapphire is being produced at a Mesa, Ariz facility with GT Advanced Technologies, and will protect iPhones and wearables from cracks and scratches, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sapphire display can  also resist high temperatures and corrosion.

Apple already uses a little of the sapphire in the iPhone's camera lens and fingerprint reader, but it could be used as a screen to protect Apple's precious high-end iPhones and iWatches. About 11 percent of iPhone users suffer from broken or cracked screens. But it's also more costly -- about $16 as opposed to $3 for Gorilla Glass, a tougher glass screen.
 
Apple and GT declined to comment on the new screens. It's unknown if sapphire screens will be used only on the higher-end Apple devices or will be on all new iPhones and gadgets -- with a higher sticker price.

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