Apple's tough sapphire screen may be reserved for a premium iPhone 6

Apple's tough sapphire screen may be reserved for a premium iPhone 6
When the going gets tough...

Apple could be lining up special versions of the two rumoured iPhone 6 models for sapphire screens, as the high-cost material looks to push the firm's premium banding to the max.

The Wall Street Journal says that "people familiar with the matter" revealed the Cupertino firm is currently deciding whether or not to reserve the tough-as-diamonds material for premium variants due to launch in September.

The main reason for the indecision seems to be surrounding the increased cost - the report estimates a Sapphire screen costs about $16 (around £9, AU$17), while a sheet of Gorilla Glass comes out at just $3 (around £1, AU$3).

This could potentially push the price of the new iPhone 6 up above the current cost of the iPhone 5S, so splitting out the variants between a more costly premium model and a non-sapphire toting standard option does make some sense.

That said, having multiple variants of the same handset is a very un-Apple thing to do, so we'd be surprised if this was the way the firm decided to go with the iPhone 6.

Sapphire for sure

Questions over whether sapphire crystal glass would be used at all have been raised with some suggesting Apple won't bother, but according to the WSJ this isn't the case.

It claims that sapphire screens for not only the new iPhone 6, but apparently the much rumoured iWatch too, will roll off production lines by the end of August.

The iPhone 6 launch date is currently being touted as September 9, so there's hopefully less than a month to wait to find out which way Apple will go.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.