Samsung & LG planning to use sapphire-covered screens on premium smartphones – rumor

There’s been much speculation about Apple’s plans for its sapphire glass plant, with many suggesting it will use it as a replacement for the Gorilla Glass coatings used on current iPhones when it launches the iPhone 6.

Samsung and LG reportedly plan to follow suit, with Korean site ET News citing unspecified industry sources as saying that both companies have asked suppliers to provide samples of sapphire covers for its screens.

According to the industry on May 22, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics recently asked ingot and wafer makers to submit samples in an effort to adopt the sapphire cover glass […]

“As late as last year, cell phone makers tried very hard to lower the price of sapphire,” said a sapphire ingot industry insider. “But this year as the mood swung toward using good materials to get premium prices, related industries are responding to the market more actively.”

As rumors go, this one is pretty thin. Samsung is known to have explored the use of sapphire in the past, dismissing it as too expensive, and it is likely the decision remains under constant review. Inviting manufacturers to submit samples would therefore not be in any way surprising, and doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about either company’s plans.

But with Apple investing heavily in sapphire, it is likely that Samsung and LG don’t want to be left behind, so the rumor can at least be chalked up as ‘thin but credible.’