Unlike the iPad Mini 3, the new iPad Air 2 isn't a minor, incremental update, but it actually features important hardware innovations. Besides the usual aspects taken into consideration - processor, display, thinness; Apple doesn't get into technical details, but we now have a new report that highlights the improvements Apple has made in the glass coating of the device.
Many are looking forward to scratch-resistant sapphire covers, but one display expert believes the impressive anti-reflective glass coating on the iPad Air 2 is what we'll be seeing on upcoming Apple products.
Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies says that the new anti-reflection screen on Apple's iPad Air 2 has a screen reflectance level of just 2.5 percent which is the lowest level he has ever measured on a tablet or smartphone. Soneira notes that previous record holders didn't get pass by the 4.5 percent mark. Here's what he said about the new coating technology:
"Anti-reflection coatings are used in just about all high-end lenses and related optics. The problem is that most coatings scratch easily and show fingerprints easily. Apple (or more likely one of its suppliers) has found something that doesn't scratch easily or show fingerprints and works well on tablet and smartphone touch screens."
He believes that Apple won't utilize sapphire in future iPhone screens because it has a very high 8 percent reflectance rate. Here's what more Soneira added:
"Presumably Apple's future products will have the same Anti-Reflection coatings as well - so forget about Sapphire on future iPhones because if you apply an Anti-Reflection coating to Sapphire, which has a very high 8% Reflectance all by itself, you lose its very high scratch resistance because the softer coating is now on top."
And here's why Apple can put both the anti-reflective coating and a sapphire panel together
"If Apple were to put the same anti-reflective coating found on the iPad Air 2 onto a mythical sapphire iPhone, it would defeat the purpose of the sapphire by placing a softer coating on top that is more susceptible to scratches. In short, a sapphire cover with an anti-reflectance coating would lose main selling point over traditional glass: superior scratch resistance."
Sapphire is also more expensive and even harder to build and is also prone to shattering when dropped. So perhaps we won't be seeing it be used in Apple's iPads or iPhones anytime soon.
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