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For months, we’ve heard that Apple’s iPhone 6 models would sport a sapphire crystal display. The super-hard glass was even supposedly shown in a video preview back in July. Then when Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on Tuesday, there was nary a mention of a sapphire display – at least, not until the Apple Watch reveal. What happened?

It seems as though the plan for sapphire-coated iPhone 6 handsets was still going forward until only a few weeks ago. A post on Wall Street Forensics claims that production issues at GT Advanced Technologies, the supplier that had signed a deal with Apple to produce the displays, had hit production issues and simply couldn’t get the job done. That seems to confirm rumors we’d been hearing all year, most recently in late July.

“The issue that emerged is that the finishers were still having trouble creating the sapphire edges and yields were only at 25% or less,” says the post. Meanwhile, “the sapphire screens for the iPhone that did not pass quality checks were converted into watch screens.”

That makes a certain degree of sense. The Apple Watch’s smaller size mans that the cost of coating each one with sapphire crystal will undoubtedly be lower than covering each and every iPhone – especially iPhone 6 Plus models. Add in the fact that the Apple Watch won’t be on store shelves until early 2015 anyway, and you’ve got more time for manufacturers to get the job done.

Perhaps by then the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available with sapphire crystal displays. Or, maybe Apple will announce sapphire screens as part of the iPhone 6S or whatever they come up with next fall. It will probably be a good long while before we get an iPhone 7, so don’t be surprised to see those sapphire displays hitting new iPhones before the end of the year.

[Source: Wall Street Forensics]

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