Huawei to launch a sapphire edition of Ascend P7 phone?

Huawei is expected to become the first Chinese brand to offer a smartphone with a sapphire screeen, as it is preparing to launch a sapphire edition of the Ascend P7 next month.

Engadget didn't reveal pricing in its report but said Huawei confirmed the news. The smartphone will even be available on the company's Chinese store in September. Although the initial rollout will be limited, another batch is expected in November. If Xiaomi and Vivo don't beat Hauwei to the punch, it'll notally become the first Chinese manufacturer to sell a smartphone with a sapphire screen.

For many years, Corning has, er, cornered the smartphone market with its Gorilla Glass technology. Many manufacturers, including Samsung and Apple, use the technology as the front glass on their smartphones and other devices, mostly because of its robust nature and scratch-resistant shielding. However, several reports have claimed Cornings' dominance is now under threat.

The most recent reports have suggested that a rival technology called Sapphire will muscle into the smartphone market this year. It will allegedly provide greater protection for the next iPhone and Apple's much-rumoured smartwatch. And now Engadget has claimed that Huawei doesn't want to get left behind, and that the company is reportedly getting ready to launch a sapphire edition of the Ascend P7.

READ: Huawei Ascend P7 review

The Huawei Ascend P7 released earlier this year and features a 5-inch IPS LCD touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass, as well as a 13 MP rear-facing camera, 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, support for Bluetooth LE and LTE, and Android 4.4 KitKat OS, among other things. In Pocket-lint's full review, we described the Ascend P7 as a decent smartphone that is a considerable step up from the earlier P6 model.

We've contacted Huawei for a comment and hope to update soon.