Glass-maker Corning has unveiled a new version of its Gorilla Glass used in the majority of smartphone displays, which it says is twice as likely to survive being dropped.
As phones get bigger and come with glass on the back as well as the front, the potential for smashed devices has increased. While cases have helped, even heavily protected phone screens still end up shattered from impact and then stress from being bent, squeezed or bumped in a pocket or bag.
Gorilla Glass 6 is a new chemically strengthened and highly compressed glass that Corning says has twice the drop protection of its Gorilla Glass 5.
Apple today announced Corning Incorporated will receive $200 million from Apple’s new Advanced Manufacturing Fund as part of the company’s commitment to foster innovation among American manufacturers. The investment will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs, and state-of-the-art glass processing. Corning’s 65-year-old Harrodsburg facility has been integral to the 10-year collaboration between these two innovative companies and will be the focus of Apple’s investment.
You don’t invest that much money without any sort of expectations. And while the investment may have been too late to bring any immediate benefits — like Gorilla Glass 6 on the iPhone X — it’s not far-fetched to assume the next generation of iPhones will have Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and back?
Corning did say that Gorilla Glass 6 will protect various devices later this year, without revealing any product names. The Galaxy Note 9 and Pixel 3 may also be among the first gadgets to make use of the stronger glass.
“Gorilla Glass 6 is an entirely new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it significantly higher levels of compression than is possible with Gorilla Glass 5. This enables Gorilla Glass 6 to be more resistant to damage,” Dr. Jaymin Amin, vice president of technology and product development, said in a press release the other day. “Moreover, with breaks during drops being a probabilistic event, the added compression helps increase, on average, the likelihood of survival through multiple drop events.”
orning did not confirm at the event which upcoming phones will use Gorilla Glass 6. But it’s a safe bet that many will. Over 50 phones currently incorporate Gorilla Glass, including Samsung’s Galaxy S9, the OnePlus 6 and Google’s Pixel 2. While Apple is always secretive about its materials, several of its phones, including the iPhone X, have all-glass backs, and it likely uses Gorilla Glass 5.