Apple knows you're tired of scratching and cracking the glass of your iPhone - and the door may be open for them to do something about it.

If you have an iPhone 5, pick it up and turn it around. Tap on the camera lens. If you think what you're tapping on is glass, you're wrong. It's sapphire crystal, and its hardness is second only to the diamond when it comes to transparent materials. What does that mean to you? Durability.

MIT Technology Review reports that sapphire crystal's price may be lowering in the next few years thanks to increased competition and improved technology. Right now, creating a sapphire screen would cost around $30, but that could drop below $20 in a few years. 

According to Eric Virey, an analyst for the market research firm Yole Développement, major mobile phone developers are considering using sapphire instead of glass, and a handful of high-end smart phones may make the move late this year.

 

[Via MacRumors]