Corning, which supplies Apple with millions of durable iPhone screens every year, announced yesterday the impending arrival of Gorilla Glass 4. Gorilla Glass 4 may not be as scratch-proof as sapphire, but it's just as well because cracked iPhone screens are arguably more problematic than scratched screens in the first place.
Gorilla Glass 4 promises to be twice as tough as current iPhone screens and has been specifically engineered to be more shatterproof than ever while retaining the same level of thinness.
Corning notes that samples of Gorilla Glass 4 have already been sent out to customers, making it more than plausible that the new material will be used on the next-gen iPhone.
Gorilla Glass 4 provides at least two times improved damage resistance over competitive aluminosilicate glass, as measured by retained strength after damage events, resulting in improved mechanical durability of the glass to in-field damage events, such as drops.
Corning scientists examined hundreds of broken devices and found that damage caused by sharp contact accounted for more than 70 percent of field failures. The scientists then developed new drop-test methods that simulate real-world break events, based on thousands of hours analyzing cover glass that had broken in the field or laboratory. The scientists used the new methods to drop devices face down from one meter, such that the cover glass directly contacted a rough surface.