According to Apple, the camera lens cover on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is sapphire, but a recent YouTube video that started making the rounds led many folks to wonder if that was actually the case.
The internet echo chamber has caused the video to pick up steam, but, as put together by iMore, there isn’t much to go on. You can watch the video at the end of the article, which is entitled, “Apple Sapphire iPhone Lens – What’s it Made of?” and goes into some great detail over its nearly nine-minute length, with plenty of theories, ideas, and more.
However, in a statement made to the publication, Apple has confirmed, as was originally stated by the company to begin with, that the camera lens cover on the iPhone 7 is indeed sapphire:
“Apple confirms the iPhone 7 camera lens is sapphire,” an Apple spokesperson told iMore, “and under proper testing conditions achieves the hardness and purity results expected from sapphire.”
Apple’s Philip Schiller even took to Twitter to put an end to the rumors that have cropped up ever since the video went live, saying that the camera lens cover and the top of the Home button are indeed outfitted with sapphire:
Not true. Camera lens cover and top of Home Button both Sapphire. #iPhone7
— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) September 17, 2016
And even in the video, JerryRigEverything notes that when tested, the camera lens cover reads back with a “huge reading of aluminum oxide,” and notes that, with the test, it confirms the camera lens cover is made from sapphire:
“When I tested the outside of the lens, I got a huge reading of aluminum oxide [sapphire — Ed.], which means the lens is most definitely sapphire on the exterior.”
As the report notes, the sapphire camera lens cover is not scratching, like the watch is in the video, but is instead fracturing. The video even notes the differences, which is an important distinction:
“Fracturing — as opposed to scratching — is what happens when you have something so incredibly thin — unlike the much thicker watch used for comparison — and you apply pressure with no level of control.”
There is silicon glass on the camera lens cover, but as noted in the original video, this is probably for something else entirely than protecting the camera itself, including to “minimize reflection or something minor.” The camera lens cover also includes other coated materials, including one to minimize fingerprints, but the camera lens cover is sapphire.
JerryRigEverything even noted in a followup tweet that the camera lens cover is “solid sapphire,” and that it is not a laminate or glass:
Just to clarify: the iPhone camera lens IS solid sapphire, not a laminate or glass. Just like I show and explain in the video. 🍎isn't lying.
— JerryRigEverything (@ZacksJerryRig) October 4, 2016
A big brouhaha over nothing, it seems, as even the video, even with a variety of theories, confirms the camera lens cover is made from sapphire, and nothing else. Apple doesn’t appear to be cutting any corners here.
Here’s the video: