iPhone 6 sapphire display looking more likely, but probably limited at launch

One of the hottest topics in the mobile world is whether or not Apple's incoming iPhone 6 will use sapphire glass or not, and it's still not clear whether this will actually be the case even as we approach the unveiling of the new handsets (which should be three weeks today).

The latest gossip on several fronts seems to indicate that we might see a limited usage of sapphire on some models initially – or that we may not see any iPhones with sapphire on board with the immediate launch, but that models will follow later on (likely next year), which is a line of speculation that we've heard before (last month in fact).

Several sources are now indicating similar lines of thought, the first being C-Net, which reported the musings of an analyst from JP Morgan, Rod Hall. While Hall admitted that there is a chance some iPhone 6 models may emerge this year using a sapphire display – possibly just the more expensive handsets, another rumour we've heard previously – he believes there's a greater chance that sapphire won't be employed in Apple's new smartphones until 2015.

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Hall said: "At the end of the day we see two possibilities for the iPhone 6 – either Apple produces a small number of high end devices with sapphire or they produce none. Although we have channel indications that some sapphire devices will be produced, we actually lean toward Apple selling no sapphire phones this year."

Also, while the Guardian recently reported that sapphire displays are set to be put into production for Apple this month, it also noted that manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies won't crank its plant up to "full operational capacity" until early 2015. Again, this fits in with the idea of a limited launch of higher-end devices initially, moving into higher gear next year.

So that seems to be the upshot – there's definitely a chance we'll see some more expensive models of the iPhone 6 with sapphire on board at launch (or at least this year), which will probably mean shortages of those particular flavours of the iPhone as folks scramble to be the first "sapphired-up" handset owners, as it were.

For a full roundup of all the latest rumours and updates on the iPhone 6, check out our rolling live coverage.