|As Apple Pursues Sapphire, Corning Says It Made Even Tougher Gorilla Glass |
By Daisuke Wakabayashi / WSJ Nov 20, 2014
Corning whose Gorilla Glass is used iPhone displays, said it has developed a new version of the super-hard glass that aims to address broken or shattered screens from everyday drops.
The new version of Gorilla Glass comes as Apple’s attempts to use sapphire in its iPhone screens have hit an impasse with the bankruptcy of its one-time sapphire partner GT Advanced Technologies. Apple’s desire to prevent broken screens in its phones was the impetus behind a failed $1 billion investment in a mega-factory to produce massive amounts of the super-hard material.
In a press release, Corning said it dropped devices face down from one meter, or 39 inches, high onto a rough surface. It found that the new Gorilla Glass was up to two times tougher than competitive glasses. Corning said the new glass survived up to 80% of the time.
Gorilla Glass was instrumental in the development of the original iPhone. In the months leading up to the launch of the original iPhone, Steve Jobs reached out to Corning and asked it to start producing a super-hard glass for the device.
Originally developed in the 1960s for fighter-jet cockpits, Gorilla Glass allowed Apple to ditch its original plan to cover the iPhone in plastic.