Corning’s Next Generation Gorilla Glass Will Rival Sapphire For Scratch Resistance

Smartphones take a lot of abuse, and there’s money to be made in screens that are resistant to scratches and cracks. Corning’s Gorilla Glass has been the leader in this market, appearing on Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, but it has had some competition from beleaguered GT Advanced Technologies, which made remarkably scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire for iPhone camera covers and other devices. Now, Corning says it has a material that is almost as scratch resistant as GTAT sapphire and much more resistant to being dropped.

Corning is coming out with a material even tougher than Gorilla Glass 4
Image credit: Corning

Corning’s new material is codenamed Project Phire. “We told you last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn’t fare well when dropped,” Corning Glass Technologies president James Clappin said in an investor meeting, according to CNET. “So, we created a product that offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance that approaches sapphire.”

GTAT cut ties with Apple and filed for bankruptcy last year, so Corning doesn’t appear to have direct competition from sapphire at the moment, and its Gorilla Glass 4 has been well-received for both its scratch-resistance and, just as importantly, its toughness when dropped. If Project Phire can really deliver better scratch resistance, it’s Corning’s game to lose.