In late 2013 Apple made the announcement that it was entering into a deal (some said exclusive) with GT Advanced Technologies. This company was going to revolutionize the next generation(s) of devices from Apple including the iPhone, iPad and more. The tech that was going to enable this revolutionary change was sapphire glass.
If you believe the writing of International Business Times, Apple is investing in new materials for use in new editions of their devices. They are doing this by using patents and technology that came with the acquisition of GT Advanced Technologies.
About a month ago the CEO of Foxconn made a statement that Apple and Foxconn were signing an agreement that would lock out all competitors of the iPhone. It was an interesting because the comments came at a time when Apple was not even acknowledging that they were even working on a new phone (although everyone knew they were). Still CEO Terry Gou claimed that Apple was making a deal with Sharp for new panel technology and with Corning which would prevent Apple’s competition from even being able to get glass for their phones.