Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has tapped South Korean manufacturers to produce sapphire glass screens for a limited edition of premium Smartphone, which is expected to be launched at the end of this year.
The report, citing no sources, said Xiaomi had ordered sapphire covers for its 50,000 smartphones. Xiaomi declined to comment on this.
Sapphire is more durable and scratch-resistant than typical glass display covers. Industry giant Apple Inc is also using sapphire screens in more expensive models of its new, bigger premium edition iPhones.
Xiaomi is known for rolling out a device with design specifications similar to Apple’s, such as bevelled edges. The Beijing-based manufacturer’s marketing strategy has often been to position its Mi line as equal to the iPhone in quality but at one-third the price.
Last November, Apple announced to cooperate with GT Advanced Technologies Inc, and established factory in Arizona, to make sapphire materials for its prevalent electronics devices. It is estimated that the sapphire glass displays produced will be used for iPhone 6.
Recently, Verizon unveiled the Kyocera Brigadier, which is the first smartphone in the U.S. to come with a sapphire glass screens. The smartphone “is virtually scratchproof and protects from a screen-first drop onto rocks, where tests show it less likely to break than strengthened touch-panel glass,” according to both Verizon and Kyocera. Although the use of sapphire glass, this happens to be a mid-range smartphone with a 4.5 inch display featuring a 720 x 1280 resolution, powered by a quad-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400.
Using sapphire glass for some of its displays would match perfectly in character for Xiaomi, which is acknowledged as the “Apple” of China.
Xiaomi to launch premium edition smartphones with sapphire materials