[Edit: 17-Apr-2012, scuttlebutt is the iPhone 6 will cost $100 more than the iPhone 5s (retail) and that Apple is asking telcos to absorb some of this increase, to which there is some push-back. See bottom of post for more analysis.]

Idle speculation, whilst on the treadmill ….

Where could $AAPL be planning to use its Sapphire? (too much smoke for there not to be a fire; Apple’s planning something to do with Sapphire, but what?)

1) iPhone screen – ok, so every other dude and his dog, thinks this is the plan.

Criticisms: It’s too expensive – about 10x the cost of Gorilla Glass ($GLW) they say

It’s too heavy, denser than Gorilla Glass….

It’s harder, but not more shatter proof. It’ll scratch less but may not be more durable.

It’s less transparent.

So assuming all of the above is true to some degree:

It’s heavier, less transparent, at greater risk of shattering and costs 10x more –> but is much more scratch-resistant. There’s some scepticism…but is it a case of hater’s gonna hate?

2) iPhone Back – no one’s saying this (at least no one I’ve heard as yet …)

iPhone backs (the metal bits) are what seems to get scratched the most; a very thin sheet of Sapphire coating the back would make it super-awesome. Shatter-resistance would come from being bonded to the metal underneath?

3) Trackpads – Sapphire is insanely smooth; much much smoother than glass. Fingers glide so much more freely.

Not as big as screens. Less to worry about in terms of weight and transparency. Perhaps it’s trackpads on MacBooks?

4) Some new device altogether – perhaps some kind of remote….?

Go on, tell me what you think ….leave a comment….

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