Apple has seemingly snatched three year’s worth of sapphire smartphone displays, further fueling sentiments that we’ll see a more durable touch screen on the iPhone 6. During a recent conference call, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said Apple bought 4.5-inch sapphire displays that could have been used for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone.
“Apple just snapped up three year’s worth of the supply of sapphire screens from the company that we had engaged to make the screens for the Edge,” Shuttleworth said according to Gigaom.
This purchase falls in line with rumors we’ve heard concerning Apple’s plans for its next iPhones. Earlier this month 9to5Mac claimed to have obtained import and export records revealing that Apple is working the GT Advanced to produce sapphire displays for its future iPhones. The 4.5-inch size also matches a report from The Wall Street Journal that said Apple is experimenting with smartphone screens measuring 4.5 and 5 inches in length. Apple also inked a deal with GT Advanced in November for $578 million.
Currently, Apple uses sapphire as a hard cover for the camera on its iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s to keep the lens scratch resistant. Sapphire is also used in the Touch ID fingerprint sensor home button on Apple’s most recent flagship. If Apple does decide to outfit its next-gen iPhone with a sapphire display, it would be the first commercially available mobile device to do so.