Corning says its new Gorilla Glass unlikely to break as easily

smartphone glass
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You know those smartphone screens you've been cracking the last few years? The folks who make the glass for the screens, Corning, say its next edition of Gorilla Glass is less likely to break.

Execs won't flat out say it's unbreakable, just that the new screens will survive "more drops."

Corning says the new Gorilla Glass, called Gorilla Glass Victus, will be used by Samsung, which is staging an event on Aug. 5 to announce its latest, an updated Galaxy Note phone. Corning senior vice-president John Bayne wouldn't say whether it will be on the next iPhones expected to be announced in September, noting that the announcement would have to come from Apple.

"But we were on the very first iPhone, and every model since," he says.

Bayne says the Gorilla Glass produced today by Corning is much stronger than back in 2007 when it began surfacing on iPhones and later on Galaxy phones. But the prevalence of cracks has increased as manufacturers have shifted to thinner designs.

"Instead of our historic approach of asking our technologists to focus on a single goal—making the glass better for either drop or scratch—we asked them to focus on improving both drop and scratch, and they delivered with Gorilla Glass Victus."

All told, Gorilla Glass is in some 8 billion devices, including phones, tablets, TVs, notebooks and laptops.

Corning says that in lab tests, the Victus glass achieved drop performance up to 2 meters when dropped onto hard, rough surfaces, compared to cracks at drops of less than 0.8 meters.

As for the holy grail and truly unbreakable smartphone glass, "someday that will happen," Bayne says. "We're on a journey to get there."

Corning is based in upstate New York, about two hours south of Rochester, and produces glass at factories in Harrisburg, Kentucky, Taiwan and Korea.

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