Chinese smartphone producer Xiaomi is working on a new flagship, which may include sapphire cover for its display. According to a report from DigiTimes the company is likely to reveal its new premium device Xiaomi Mi 5 at CES in January. The new 5.7-inches smartphone may feature a sapphire cover for the screen.
The site is quoting sources from the Taiwan supply-chain. It will make Xiaomi one of the first mass production smartphones which will use the hardened material for protection of the device’s display. Kyocera with cooperation with Verizon launched a special edition of handsets in 2014 in the US market which gain some attention for the endurance of the new material.
Apple also is exploring the possibility for adding a synthetic sapphire to its iPhones. But the venture collapsed with the bankruptcy of GT Advanced Technologies which have contract with the tech giant for producing the mineral. But GT failed and this postpone the ambitions of the Apple to get a sapphire screens for its iPhone 6.
Xiaomi is aiming high
Now Xiaomi have the plan to use this mineral for its new flagship. This will give the Chinese-based company edge against of its most competitors, but also will lead to some problems.
The synthetic production of sapphire is still limited and very expensive. So there will not be enough for everyone who will want to use it in its smartphones. This is the reason why Apple is in pursuit of its own tightly control production. Xiatomi depends fully on a independent subcontractors and it will have problem to acquire a big volume of sapphire which will be enough for a 5.7-inches screens for its new flagship. The display is big and this will lead for a more quantity of the precious mineral.
Also Xiaomi become a top player in the smartphone market. In the Q3 2014 it gain the third position among the handset vendors (if we are not counting Lenovo and Motorola merging effect). This means the Chinese company sells a lot of devices. And this will lead to a lot of demand for sapphire if the newcomer wants to use it as a screen cover.
The second problem is that the sapphire production is an expensive venture and it also required a complicating processing which will drive the cost sky high. This will be very bad news for Xiaomi, because the company’s success is based on the formula for an affordable and cheap smartphone with almost premium design and tech specs. The sapphire may give an technological edge for Xiaomi but also will ruin the perfect blend, the company provides till now.
Plausibility for Xiaomi to introduce its new flagship with a sapphire screen – 35%
Image Credit: Xiaomi