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iPhone 6 screen not sapphire as rumoured, fails sandpaper test

The iPhone 6 screen is undone by sandpaper, demonstrating that it’s not made of sapphire as previously rumoured…

The Apple iPhone 6’s sapphire display panel has failed the sandpaper durability test, suggesting it’s not pure sapphire as previously rumoured.

YouTuber Marques Brownlee first rubbed the display with keys and a knife, but the 4.7-inch panel didn’t show much damage at all.

However, when he attacked the new iPhone’s screen with a piece of sandpaper, which has a lower hardness rating than sapphire, the display panel fell victim to a number of deep scratches. In comparison, the iPhone 5S’s sapphire-coated TouchID sensor came out damage-free.

Read next: Why the Sony Xperia Z2 is already good enough to beat the iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6 screen 4.7 inch display vs sandpaper not made of sapphire

Brownlee concluded that the iPhone 6’s screen cannot be pure sapphire as was previously rumoured, because the material wouldn’t have displayed any damaged after being scratched by sandpaper. It therefore appears to be a hybrid instead, manufactured from a mixture of materials.

However, the iPhone 6’s screen coating fared better than the iPhone 5S’s screen, which was seriously wrecked under the same test conditions.

Pure sapphire measures nine out of ten on the Mohs scale, while sandpaper measures seven out of ten. The fact that the sandpaper was able to make its mark on the iPhone 6’s screen would suggest the display has a rating lower than seven, although the display copes well against metal knives, which measure 5.5.

Brownlee said that although it’s disappointing the iPhone 6’s 4.7-inch screen won’t be pure sapphire, a blend of materials makes more sense because it will be cheaper to produce and also gives the panel some flexibility. Hopefully that means it can absorb some impact damage, so dropping your precious iPhone won’t result in shattery oblivion – it certainly seems to be flexible from the videos.

We’re also impressed by how slim the new screen is – literally paper-thin – which backs up rumours of a new super-slender design for the iPhone 6.

US stand-up comedian Joe Rogan also set out to show the strength of the iPhone 6’s sapphire display panel, firing an arrow at the glass while it was mounted on a target. The panel completely exploded apart as you’d expect, considering the bow and arrow are more suited to shooting water buffalo.

Apple iPhone 6 4.7 inch screen dies at the hands of Joe Rogan and an arrow

The iPhone 6 is already rolling off the production line and is said to be launching in September, possibly alongside a 5.5-inch phablet version, although reports suggest the larger model has been delayed on the production lines.

Read next: Why the iPhone 6 is make-or-break for Apple



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