"So we mentioned Sapphire and obviously there is one large handset and device maker that people suspect maybe looking at Sapphire. And at least from a Corning perspective, [what are] the puts and takes of Sapphire versus glass?"
Note that the "one large handset and device maker" is Apple. Apple is expected to use sapphire crystal in some way for future devices.
Below is Tripney's answer:
"When we look at it, we see a lot of disadvantages of Sapphire versus Gorilla Glass. It's about 10 times more expensive. It's about 1.6 times heavier. It's environmentally unfriendly. It takes about 100 times more energy to generate a Sapphire crystal than it does glass. It transmits less light which...means either dimmer devices or shorter battery life. It continues to break. I think while it's a scratch resistant product it still breaks and our testing says that Gorilla Glass [can take] about 2.5 times more pressure that it can take...Sapphire on. So when we look at it, we think from an overall industry and trend that is not attractive in consumer electronics.
Tripney added that the formation [of saphire material] takes about 4,000 times longer than Gorilla Glass at a significantly higher melting temperature, so its hardness makes machining more difficult and costly. In addition, he said that the cost per unit increases exponentially because when you have defects in boundaries in the crystal growth process.