Why the iPhone 6 doesn't have a sapphire display

One of the biggest disappointments from Apple’s announcements yesterday was the lack of a sapphire screen for the iPhone 6. A seemingly-neverending string of part leaks and rumors indicated that 2014 would be the year the iPhone got a nearly indestructible sapphire display cover.

And while sapphire is used for the Apple Watch’s display, Apple made no mention of sapphire for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

What happened?

According to a knowledgable source, it all came down to a last-minute problem in the manufacturing process.

“The plan as of several weeks ago was to include a sapphire covered iPhone 6 in yesterday’s launch,” said Matt Margolis, a senior research analyst at PTT Research and sapphire specialist who has been following Apple’s production closely. “The issue that emerged is that the finishers were still having trouble creating the sapphire edges and yields were only at 25% or less.”