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Apple did plan to use sapphire glass in the iPhone 6

There's a reason why there were so many rumours flying around about the iPhone 6 having a sapphire screen, as apparently it was certainly Apple's intention to use the super-tough material in its new handsets.

According to a VentureBeat (opens in new tab) report, an IDC analyst, Danielle Levitas, recently unearthed tests of iPhone sapphire glass displays – but those tests didn't go well, which was why Apple abandoned the idea.

The dodgy drop test results and the cost of using the material made it too risky a proposition in the end, hence Cupertino switched to "ion-strengthened" glass, its apparent second choice material.

Seemingly the size of the display, particularly with the new phablet iPhone, was what was causing issues, with the larger area of glass being more prone to damage. Of course, the Apple Watch, with its tiny display, does use sapphire glass and there were no problems at that size.

Related: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which is better value? (opens in new tab)

Anyway, the lack of sapphire glass doesn't appear to have deterred purchasers of the new iPhones thus far, despite a previous survey indicating that it was the most wanted feature (opens in new tab).

Pre-order iPhone 6 stock has thinned considerably over the weekend as we reported earlier (opens in new tab), and Apple is boasting of record numbers of pre-orders (although we discuss what that might mean in more detail in this article (opens in new tab)).

Pre-ordered iPhones are already selling for the best part of a grand on eBay, so despite the lukewarm reception from many critics (opens in new tab), the new iPhones could well be kicking up the usual record numbers come the end of the week (when it goes on sale).

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.