When was the last time you dropped your phone? I dropped it a week ago. It didn’t shatter but it could’ve. So many of my friends have shattered their iPhones, their Galaxy S6s, their HTCs and their LGs that it begs the question why? Isn’t the screen the most important part of the smartphone? Shouldn’t smartphones be well equipped for this by now? Well Gorilla Glass 5 might just be the solution.
Gorilla Glass was first invented in 1962. Corning Inc., one of the oldest glass and ceramic makers in the US has provided Gorilla Glass to phones like the original iPhone, the OnePlus phones and the Samsung Galaxy series. It also extends to tablets, laptops and notebooks. In fact, ASUS, HP and Samsung feature Gorilla Glass in their smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. The reason you can use and abuse your phone’s/tablet’s screen is because Gorilla Glass doesn’t scratch easy. It’s been used in nearly 4.5 billion devices since 2007. That translates to 73% of the global smartphone market. Here is a list of devices with Gorilla Glass.
According to a global survey cited by Corning Inc., 85% of users dropped their phones once last year. 55% dropped their phones more than three times! This is becoming more of a problem than before for consumers because they tend to hold on to their phones for longer now. Why? It’s the reason the iPhone now starts at $649 rather than $399 as it did before. Carriers stopped subsidizing phones. That in turn was because carrier contracts became less popular.
Anyway, customers now tend to keep their phones for more than one life cycle. That requires a stronger screen.
What Is Gorilla Glass 5?
Corning developed Gorilla Glass 5 in 752 degree Fahrenheit baths of molten salt. Glass is put in to these baths to exchange sodium ions with the potassium ions in the salt. The larger potassium ions produce a “layer of compressive stress” in the glass to resist damage. The result is a smartphone screen that doesn’t break easy. Phones were dropped from heights of five feet (1.6 meters) on to “rough, unforgiving surfaces” such as asphalt. Gorilla Glass 4 boasted a maximum of 1 meter falls. Screens remained intact 80% of the time. Some even survived up to 20 consecutive drops. It’s also touted to be twice as scratch resistant as anything on the market right now.
Phones featuring Gorilla Glass 5 will be hitting shelves in the next few months. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new iPhones and Nexus devices had it as well. In fact a report from Korean website ETNEWS said that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the iPhone 7 would feature it. However, Corning did warn that they had no control over the manufacture of phones. This translates in to uncertainty over the material’s strength from device to device.
Corning Inc. has been making glass for over a century now. They made the glass for Edison’s first light bulb in 1879. They’ve also made Lotus Glass, used for energy efficient OLED and LCD displays.
Gorilla Glass 5 was officially launched on 21st July in Palo Alto, California.