Because the story goes, simply six weeks earlier than the unique iPhone was launched CEO Steve Jobs obtained aggravated that the plastic display screen of the prototype gadget he was utilizing obtained scratched up, so a final minute change noticed Apple change to glass.
And never simply any glass, however Gorilla Glass. This chemically-strengthened glass was created by Corning and has since grow to be a staple of the smartphone market. Let us take a look at a little bit of historical past first earlier than attending to the smartphone period.
Corning obtained its begin within the mid-Nineteenth century and made lenses for railroad sign lights and later automotive headlights. It made the glass for Thomas Edison’s mild bulb. In 1915 it created Pyrex cookware. Then within the Nineteen Sixties it began making home windows for NASA spacecraft, together with the area shuttle. Quick ahead to 2006 and we get to the fateful assembly between Apple and Corning.
Corning has manufactured among the most vital items of glass in historical past
Plastic screens have been the norm in that period, however Apple cares an excessive amount of about aesthetics to let a tool get scratched up. Greater than that, the iPhone was a touchscreen-based telephone, the display screen was its every part and it needed to be protected.
That was true of different smartphones too as they transition from keypads and keyboards to touchscreens. The early iPhones used Gorilla Glass and so did the T-Cellular G1, the primary ever Android telephone.
Apple iPhone • Apple iPhone 3G • T-Cellular G1
Contact telephones working nearly each OS on earth adopted Corning’s glass as nicely. From the tiny Samsung Corby to the i8910 Omnia HD powerhouse. From the fashionable LG KM900 Enviornment to the distinctive LG BL40 New Chocolate.
It was additionally on the Nokia X6 (now that the Finns have been shifting away from resistive contact), in addition to the Motorola Droid/Milestsone, the rugged Sonim XP3.20 Quest and even the LG GD910 watch telephone (we’ll discuss wearables later). And these are simply among the telephones from 2009.
Samsung S3650 Corby • Samsung i8910 Omnia HD • LG KM900 Enviornment • LG BL40 New Chocolate
Nokia X6 (2009) • Motorola MILESTONE • Sonim XP3.20 Quest • LG GD910
By 2010 round 20% of cellphones featured Gorilla Glass, some 200 million gadgets. In 2012 the sequel was introduced – sheets of Gorilla Glass 2 could possibly be 20% thinner whereas staying simply as powerful.
GG2 was utilized by the likes of the Galaxy S III and the camera-turned-phone Galaxy Digicam GC100. Samsung additionally used it on its Home windows Cellphone handset, the Ativ S, as did HTC on the creatively named Home windows Cellphone 8X.
Samsung Galaxy S III • Galaxy Digicam GC100 • Samsung Ativ S I8750 • HTC Home windows Cellphone 8X
By now Nokia had grow to be a fan of the glass and it featured on the Lumia 920. Different influential telephones to make use of GG2 embody the Oppo Discover 5 and the LG Optimus G. The glass was even appropriate for 3D shows as seen on the Optimus 3D Max.
Nokia Lumia 920 • Oppo Discover 5 • LG Optimus G E975 • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
Gorilla Glass 3 arrived in 2013, a very new formulation. It was extra immune to scratches and the scratches it did obtain have been much less seen because of one thing Corning known as “Native Injury Resistance”.
To show it on the MWC, Corning dropped a 135g metal ball on a standard piece of glass and GG3. The conventional glass cracked, so it was changed by a sheet of aluminum. Dropping the ball once more left a dent within the aluminum, however Gorilla Glass 3 survived unscathed.
The sequels to some acquainted faces used GG3. The Galaxy S4, Note3 and S4 zoom from Samsung, for instance. The reasonably priced Moto G, its premium sibling Moto X (each made by Google-owned Motorola) and the LG Nexus 5.
Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4 • Samsung Galaxy Word 3 • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
Motorola Moto G • Motorola Moto X • LG Nexus 5
There was additionally the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the sizable Lumia 1320 with its 6″ display screen (do not forget that this was again within the 16:9 days, this factor was 85.9mm broad and 164.2mm tall).
Nokia Lumia 1020 • Nokia Lumia 1320
Gorilla Glass 3 was one of the crucial profitable formulations for Corning and it nonetheless sees use to today, listed here are a couple of trendy gadgets. The Pixel 6a makes use of it for its show. The Asus ROG Cellphone 6 Professional makes use of it for its again. Apparently, the Motorola Edge 30 Professional makes use of GG3 for the entrance and GG5 for the again. It’s nonetheless utilized by a rugged Sonim telephone and the Ulefone Energy Armor 14 Professional.
Google Pixel 6a • Asus ROG Cellphone 6 Professional • Motorola Edge 30 Professional • Ulefone Energy Armor 14 Professional
We’ve not talked about Apple shortly, what occurred? With the iPhone 5 in 2012 the corporate stopped utilizing the trademarked “Gorilla Glass” title and began calling it “ion-strengthened glass” as an alternative. It was nonetheless a Corning product, nonetheless.
Cupertino truly tried switching away from glass round this level. It was working with GT Superior, an organization that made sapphire crystal screens for the Apple Watch. These have been additionally used to guard the digital camera and Contact ID fingerprint readers. However Apple needed larger sheets, ones that would cowl the show of iPhones. Sadly, the GT Superior went bankrupt whereas making an attempt to develop the expertise to make it doable. Sapphire Crystal has been used on some telephones, however none which have the gross sales quantity of iPhones. It’s largely a watch factor.
This can be a good segue into Gorilla Glass SR+, a glass from 2016 designed particularly designed for wearables. It provided higher injury resistance and diminished display screen reflections in comparison with “various luxurious cowl supplies”.
Corning formulated Gorilla Glass SR+ and DX/DX+ for wearables
Then in 2018 got here Gorilla Glass DX and DX+, improved glass for wearables. In accordance with Corning, it diminished reflections by 75%, which improved display screen distinction by 50%. This was very important for smartwatches, which solely had tiny batteries to energy their shows. The distinction between the DX and DX+ was that the plus mannequin was tougher.
A couple of years later Corning reintroduced Gorilla Glass DX and DX+ as safety for digital camera lenses. The scratch resistance and improved optical efficiency is simply as vital for cameras as it’s for watches. DX and DX+ let 98% of sunshine cross via whereas decreasing reflections (which may trigger glare in photographs).
The newest formulations from Corning are Gorilla Glass Victus and Victus+ (it stopped with the quantity variations after 6). Primarily based on official assessments, a smartphone with Victus glass on the entrance can survive a fall from 2m (6.5ft) onto concrete and nonetheless have a functioning show. It additionally boasted superior scratch resistance in comparison with earlier generations.
Victus and Victus+ are actually the norm for flagships – the Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely, Asus Zenfone 9, Google Pixel 6 Professional, Xiaomi 12S Extremely, Sony Xperia 1 IV, the Galaxy Xcover 6 Professional, OnePlus 10 Professional, Oppo Discover X5 Professional and plenty of others.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely 5G • Asus Zenfone 9 • Google Pixel 6 Professional • Xiaomi 12S Extremely
Sony Xperia 1 IV • Samsung Galaxy Xcover6 Professional • OnePlus 10 Professional • Oppo Discover X5 Professional
Corning has additionally made Gorilla Glass for tablets and even laptops. The corporate has a protracted historical past of constructing glass for bigger shows like TVs too (although that does not get marketed underneath the “Gorilla Glass” title).
Corning’s subsequent problem is foldable telephones – some use “Extremely Skinny Glass” (UTG), which measures one third the thickness of a human hair. It is so skinny that it could actually bend, not one thing you see glass do usually. However making it sturdy sufficient for a whole lot of each day fold and unfold cycles isn’t any straightforward feat. Nonetheless, it is an vital drawback to unravel as foldables are seen as the way forward for smartphones by some.
A sheet of foldable glass developed by Corning
By 2020 Corning’s Gorilla Glass has been featured on 8 billion gadgets created by over 45 OEMs. It has been a wild success, contemplating that the unique GG was put collectively in a rush, developed in simply 4 months. It has gone via many iterations and enhancements and the explanation it was wanted within the first place has not gone away.
An abridged historical past of Gorilla Glass