Kyocera is king when it comes to sapphire. Currently they are the industry leader in manufacturing products that utilize single crystal sapphire technology. Formed from base components, aluminum and oxygen, synthetic sapphire is hands-down superior for its strength and ability to transmit light. While Apple has partnered with GT Advanced Technologies to commercialize and incorporate sapphire into device production, iPhone’s high demand coupled with the amount of sapphire glass available has proven challenging.

Kyocera Brigadier
This past week, Kyocera successfully launched their new Brigadier smartphone. Complete with 4.5 inch sapphire display, this rugged device is both affordable at under $100, and more durable than Apple’s Gorilla Glass. Sapphire glass provides users with a phone that is not only strong, but that withstands scratches and damage better than anything else available on the market, for now.

Why sapphire glass is superior to gorilla glass
Gorilla glass entered the market in the 1960’s to be used in everything from automobiles to pharmaceuticals for its strength and light weight. Cellular companies have since developed gorilla glass into its latest version today, Gorilla Glass 3, named for being three times stronger and more flexible than previous versions. Sapphire glass is 60% heavier however, it is so much stronger than gorilla glass that less material is required. This results in a lighter device since a much thinner layer of glass is required.

Apple has noted concerns in regard to using sapphire glass in their products including production time, cost-per-unit and manufacturing intricacies like defect potential. Comfortable with gorilla glass technology, but wanting to remain industry leader and competitive, Apple has embraced the concept of sapphire shield and has been open to dialogue and partnerships related to the glass.

Alternatively, Kyocera for Android, has successfully introduced their sapphire screen in the new Brigadier device through Verizon this week. Named the Brigadier for the phone’s overall toughness, its sapphire glass feature withstands shock as effectively as it does weather, dust and extreme temperatures. Loaded with Android’s latest operating system, Kit Kat 4.4, this LTE device also boasts longer battery life than other typical smartphones. While the Brigadier may be a niche device, it is one smartphone that has brilliantly accepted the title of “winner” in the sapphire shield release.

Sapphire Shield release
This year, Apple has continued their efforts to produce and deliver products rumored to include sapphire glass however, leaked information and interviews given by company executives indicates a fine line between whether or not the advantages outweigh important considerations like cost and environmental disadvantages. Kyocera’s Brigadier beat Apple devices, including iPhone 6 to the starting line in the release of sapphire shield technology. Who finishes the race on the other hand, is yet to be determined.

Kyocera is an environmentally conscientious corporation. Their advance-engineered materials like ceramics and now available sapphire shield technology bring user benefits to both consumers and the company’s manufacturing facilities. Kyocera’s exclusive development of sapphire glass allows them to produce sufficient quantities and meet the consumer demand of their devices, something that Apple continues to struggle with.