Sapphire: Strong Enough for Jewelry, But a Match Made in Heavy for Tech Products

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When we think of sapphires, most of us think of the expensive gemstones used in jewelry, but many people do not know sapphires actually have had a wide variety of industrial applications for hundreds of years. Why would companies want to use such an expensive mineral in their technology products? First and foremost, sapphire is incredibly durable, behind only diamond as the second hardest mineral, scoring 9.0 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It is also a very chemically stable mineral. Sapphire’s durability and chemical stability has made it ideal for use in precision mechanics, timepieces, displays and more, across many different industries.

Real sapphire – which is a variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminum oxide – saw its first industrial application more than 300 years ago as jewel bearings in high-end mechanical timepieces. While this was costly, longevity and accuracy were worth the high price of these components. These types of timepieces were built to pass down from generation to generation.

The first man-made sapphire was produced as far back as 1902, using a process of grinding natural aluminum oxide into powder and then heating it to 3,761°F. While most sapphires used in jewelry are colored, this is actually due to impurities in the mineral. Without any impurities present, sapphire is a completely clear material. It has high strength, anti-abrasion and anti-corrosion characteristics, good light transmission, and can be processed into sheets, all of which are ideal for clear device displays, such as smartphones, watches, microwaves, projectors, as well as precision tools and other electronic components.

Kyocera has been producing and utilizing man-made single-crystal sapphire for electronic components for more than 40 years. Some of the uses for sapphire include watch lenses, inspection equipment parts, medical diagnostic equipment parts and chamber windows. More recently, Kyocera began developing pure sapphire displays for its leading portfolio of ruggedized smartphones. Perfectly suited for rugged devices, sapphire displays have proven to be incredibly resistant to scratches and damage that often blemish smartphones. Once reserved for luxury phones costing thousands of dollars, only in the past few years have smartphone manufacturers begun using sapphire displays in mass-market phones, and Kyocera was the first.

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Kyocera’s Sapphire Shield Display technology is now used on multiple Kyocera smartphones, including the Kyocera DuraForce PRO at Verizon. Our Sapphire Shield helps protect devices by:

  • Resisting ongoing, minor scratches and micro-fractures. When you pay hundreds of dollars for a smartphone, you don’t want the touchscreen display to be degraded and ruined over time by ugly scratches and cracks. As phones sit in pockets and purses, however, that’s exactly what happens when they get scraped by keys, coins and other hard objects. At Kyocera, we like to show off the durability of our Sapphire Shield display by testing it with steel wool, knives, coins and other common display-killers.
  • Enhancing the long-term integrity of the display. Think of how glass is typically cut. Rather than actually cutting all the way through a sheet of glass, traditional glass cutters simply score the glass so it can be broken along that same score. Similarly, scratches and micro-fractures in a phone display weaken its integrity over time by preparing it to be more easily broken along those fault lines.

Sapphire displays cost more than typical hardened-glass displays, which explains why they were historically used only in high-end luxury phones. Kyocera, however, has gotten past that issue and used sapphire displays in devices costing far less than today’s most popular smartphones. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, but especially for the phones’ users, who can worry less about cosmetic blemishing and long-term failure (i.e., shattering) of their displays.

For more information about Kyocera’s Sapphire Shield Display technology, visit: https://www.kyoceramobile.com/sapphire-shield/ and for details on other applications of Kyocera sapphire technology, visit: http://global.kyocera.com/prdct/fc/list/material/sapphire/index.html

John Chier is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles. When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays.

KYOCERA HEADING TO CORRIGO’S GLOBAL FACILITIES MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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It’s been an action-packed 2017 on the events front for the Kyocera team. From the Consumer Electronics Show to Mobile World Congress, ConExpo and the Mid-America Trucking Show, we have been working feverishly to get the word out about Kyocera’s rugged device lineup, including the newest addition—the DuraForce PRO. This summer shows no signs of slowing down as this week we are heading back to Las Vegas to participate in the Global Corrigo Conference, Connect2017, along with approximately 350 of Corrigo’s customers and service professionals who are leaders in the facilities management industry.

To provide some historical context, Kyocera and Corrigo have been working together since 2015. Corrigo is an innovative technology company that delivers software as a service (SaaS) and mobile solutions for very specific trade industries, and both companies view facilities managers as a critical part of business operations. We have been collaborating to create and market technology products that fit the very unique needs of those in this important industry. Kyocera’s rugged phones have always been a good choice for rugged industries like facilities management in retail, property management and hospitality, among others, and are areas where Corrigo has a strong presence. As such, our collaboration with Corrigo creates special value and opportunity for our customers.

Corrigo’s solutions include a cutting-edge facilities management platform designed to help users transform their building- and facilities-management operations, from tracking work orders to asset tracking and compiling data analytics. Corrigo’s user base is a fantastic fit for Kyocera’s rugged mobile devices, which we will be showcasing at the Kyocera booth (#903) on the exhibit floor. During the show we will be highlighting our Push-To-Talk (PTT) services, and demonstrating our collaboration with SOTI—a mobility management solution provider—using MobiControl on the DuraForce PRO. Kyocera’s devices are also optimized to run the Corrigo mobile app, making an ideal combination of hardware and software to meet their customers’ needs.

If you’re planning to attend Connect2017 in Las Vegas this week, which runs Tuesday, May 16 through Thursday, May 18, please come by our booth to learn more about our rugged lineup of mobile devices, and how Corrigo customers can save time and money with a Kyocera rugged device like the DuraForce PRO. We will be exhibiting as a Platinum Sponsor and participating in a variety of activities and happy hours onsite at our booth, and will be participating in the Rapid Networking Sessions at the Corrigo Café. Stop by and learn more about our lineup of rugged devices or follow us on Twitter (@KyoceraMobile).

Kyocera Drives Sustainability

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Kyocera is excited to participate this year at Waste Expo 2017, an annual event for waste management and recycling industry professionals. We consider ourselves a global, active participant in reducing waste across all our corporate activities. Globally, we continuously refine our efforts to protect and improve our environment. Locally, we were recently awarded “Recycler of the Year” by the City of San Diego’s Services Department, the 17th consecutive year we’ve been honored by the City for our recycling and waste-reduction efforts.

This underlying commitment drives Kyocera toward providing technological solutions that create efficiencies, streamline logistics and ultimately contribute to sustainable smart choices for any business. For instance, our product portfolio of rugged mobile devices lengthens the life-cycles of mobile phones, the most common electronic that nearly everyone uses. With our rugged technology, we can increase the “planned obsolescence cycle” so that a business can reduce its total cost of ownership across a fleet or a team that relies on mobility to connect across a company’s infrastructure.

In the transportation world, Kyocera mobile devices can ensure drivers and managers have reliable, rugged devices that can survive virtually any environment, including waste and recycling-management and logistics teams. Kyocera provides a wide range of must-have applications, from business-critical voice and direct-mode-operation (Push-To-Talk or PTT), to GeoTab Drive for Hours of Service (HOS) tracking, to group voice and multimedia connection. At Waste Expo this week, we’ll be showing Kyocera rugged devices and Push-To-Talk demonstrations.

Recently, Kyocera supported the deployment of its DuraForce XD large-screen rugged smartphones for drivers at Success Logistics, offering a cost-effective, easy-to-use and durable mobile solution. The transportation industry in general – and Success Logistics in particular – needs reliable, durable devices with larger screens to run the necessary services, solutions and applications that drivers need, across networks.

Success Logistics runs the GeoTab Drive mobile app for drivers, an all-in-one driver platform for Hours of Service, Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting and Driver ID. Not only did Success Logistics need a larger mobile interface with which drivers could interact with the screens even with wet hands or with gloves on, but also the company needed a cost-effective, durable smartphone that would perform properly “in cab,” survive long-term across different types of trucks and was easy to use for all drivers.

To learn more about how Success Logistics, GeoTab Drive and Kyocera collaborated to solve these transportation issues and implement a solution with the required cost savings, durability, ease of use and battery life, download the Case Study HERE.

And if you’re attending the Waste Expo this week, please come by and visit Kyocera (Booth #4563), and learn more about our work in waste management and the recycling industry helps professionals implement rugged technology and advanced communication solutions. If you don’t yet have a ticket to the show, use exhibitor VIP code CR3 for a discount! We’ll be giving away a DuraForce PRO at the expo and we’ll also be hosting a happy hour on Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10 from 2-5 p.m. at our booth.

Kyocera and Verizon Take to the Slopes

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Official Partners of the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association’s National Championships

From time-to-time, working in the mobile industry and being the leader in rugged mobile devices affords our team the opportunity to attend some really fantastic, unique events in some of the world’s most interesting and beautiful places. Last week, we brought Kyocera’s ruggedized smartphones to the slopes of Copper Mountain, Colorado, where Kyocera and Verizon participated as Official Partners, as well as Presenting Sponsors of the Mobile App, for the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA)’s National Championships.

The USASA National Championships, which runs from April 1 through April 12, 2017, is the largest snowboard and freeskiing competition in the United States and brings more than 1,900 top athletes from across the country to compete for the National Championship title, along with 30,000 spectators to join in the fun with them. Snowboarders and freeskiers have some of the most adventurous lifestyles and have to do their job in some of the most extreme weather conditions known to man. It’s for these reasons that Kyocera is participating in the USASA’s National Championships for the third year in a row. We believe our rugged smartphone lineup is best suited to serve the needs of these adrenaline junkies, and gives them a device that can withstand all kinds mishaps, including an inadvertent drop in snow or water.

During this year’s event, Kyocera and Verizon are sharing a booth, where we are showcasing Kyocera’s rugged DuraForce PRO smartphone, the “Official Handset” of USASA, running on Verizon Wireless’ network. There has been a ton of buzz from spectators and competitors visiting the booth who are very impressed by the DuraForce PRO’s rugged, waterproof design, the Super Wide-View HD Action Camera for high-quality photo and video recording, the incredibly tough Sapphire Shield display and Kyocera’s two-year device warranty, which combined make the DuraForce PRO ideal for avid and novice skiers and snowboarders alike. To make things even more fun for the participants and spectators, we even raffled off some of these devices for several lucky attendees and conducted a social media contest as well.

To learn more about Kyocera’s lineup of rugged, ski-and-snowboard-friendly devices, including the Kyocera DuraForce PRO, visit: https://www.kyoceramobile.com/phones/

Joelene Murphy is a Senior Marketing Manager at Kyocera currently supporting the Verizon account. She has been a member of the Kyocera sales and marketing team for 11 years. While away from the office, Joelene and her husband are very active with their family and enjoy traveling, music, and sporting events.