The Journal also noted that by incorporating the costly material into the iPhone, Apple has made the largest bet thus far on its appeal to consumers.
You may have come into contact with sapphire glass already. The synthetic material is used to protect the iPhone’s camera and Touch ID fingerprint reader on the 5S.
It’s unclear how Apple will decide to implement sapphire glass on its iPhone models, even though several YouTube users have tested front panels that contain at least some sapphire in them.
Wakabayashi suggested on Twitter that memory size might be the deciding factor, but remained speculative:
If Apple goes ahead with its tiered-pricing structure, the company could maintain its position at the high end of the smartphone market while also offering a less expensive model for potential Android converts.
It would also give Apple users more options to choose from if they want to buy an iPhone, something consumers have wanted for some time now.
Apple’s differentiation of the iPhone lineup would also hedge the company from any possible loss it could experience if its rumoured smartwatch, which will reportedly debut in October, turns out to be a dud.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.