According to technews.tw and supply chain sources close to Trendinsider, Apple may be ready to mass produce the iPhone 5S in the coming periods and is likely to apply sapphire crystals to the device’s home as well as volume control buttons.
Sapphire crystals were first used in the camera component of the iPhone 5, and have been heavily praised for their natural sturdiness and transparency. In spite of the benefits provided, though, the material is also very expensive to use, especially when applied to a surface as large as a smartphone’s display. According to the figures compiled by Technews, the cost of applying sapphire crystals on an iPhone’s 4-inch screen would fall at around $US 40, which is almost equivalent to the combined cost of using Corning’s Gorilla Glass and the iPhone 5’s existing touch module component. Unless the cost of sapphires undergo a substantial reduction, it’s unlikely that Apple would ever want to apply the crystalline material beyond a number of key button components.
An additional, equally noteworthy rumor claims that the iPhone 5S’s home button will be a capacitive, rather than physical, button. This makes sense given Apple’s alleged intent to incorporate NFC-based functionality as well as its desire to make the 5S’s manufacturing process less complicated. With a hardness that is close to a diamond’s, sapphires can be more than ideal when it comes preventing the (alleged) finger sensory component from being scratched.
At the moment, speculation has it that the iPhone 5S will be released at around August. The budget, plastic-made iPhone, on the other hand, is said to be due in the following month. Both smartphones are expected to feature a 4-inch display.