Brais Diazdice: 5 March, 2014 at 16:07
Everything Corning says about sapphire glass is true: It’s harder (scratch resistant) but also more fragile, less resistant to impact. In addition, its light transmission is worse than that of Gorilla Glass which, as you say, would either increase power consumption or reduce screen brightness.
What Apple, according to the patents it has with respect to sapphire glass, intends to do is to make very, very thin sapphire glass sheets, and together with glass sheets form a glass for use in displays, however, without yet being confirmed if in iPhone, iWatch or other product.
Two years ago, GT Advanced, the company with which Apple manufactures the sapphire glass, bought a company called Twin Creeks, which had a hydrogen ion accelerator, basically an ion cannon, with which it would be possible to obtain 0.2 mm thick sapphire glass sheets.
In theory, by laminating this thin sheet of sapphire glass with other sheets of glass or polycarbonate, you would largely avoid problems such as worse light transmission, being thinner that problem would be less, weight issues and for example, in case of breakage, would prevent the sapphire glass from breaking into a thousand pieces as it would still be stuck to the other sheets. In spite of that, it would break.
You have to wait and see what it all comes down to, and draw conclusions if Apple finally launches an iPhone with a screen like this, once the corresponding comparisons and analyses are made.
As for what you say about the photovoltaic sensors, I’m afraid if we ever see that, it won’t be in the short term, but I don’t know.