In Pictures: Here’s how Apple is spending $1 billion on sapphire

From rare gemstone to mass market material for future iPhones, iPads and more?

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Long-prized as a gemstone, sapphire has been increasingly important – in synthetic form - as an industrial material. But its relatively high cost has stymied wider user of its optical clarity, incredible hardness, and dielectric properties. Apple has made sapphire a strategic investment: if successful, the company will drive sapphire into new, mass market uses, starting with its own mobile products.

Shown: Corundum's crystal structure.

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In Pictures: Here’s how Apple is spending $1 billion on sapphire

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