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Flashback: 15 years of Gorilla Glass on phones

Because the story goes, simply six weeks earlier than the unique iPhone was launched CEO Steve Jobs acquired irritated that the plastic display of the prototype machine he was utilizing acquired scratched up, so a final minute change noticed Apple swap to glass.

And never simply any glass, however Gorilla Glass. This chemically-strengthened glass was created by Corning and has since turn into a staple of the smartphone market. Let us take a look at a bit of historical past first earlier than attending to the smartphone period.

Corning acquired 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 gentle bulb. In 1915 it created Pyrex cookware. Then within the 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 some of the most important pieces of glass in history
Corning has manufactured some of the most important pieces of glass in history
Corning has manufactured some of the most important pieces of glass in history

Corning has manufactured some of crucial items of glass in historical past

Plastic screens had 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 cellphone, the display was its every little thing 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 cellphone.

Apple iPhone • Apple iPhone 3G • T-Cellular G1

Contact phones operating nearly each OS on earth adopted Corning’s glass as effectively. 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 had 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 cellphone (we are going to discuss wearables later). And these are just a few of the phones 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 cell phones featured Gorilla Glass, some 200 million units. In 2012 the sequel was introduced – sheets of Gorilla Glass 2 might 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 Telephone handset, the Ativ S, as did HTC on the creatively named Home windows Telephone 8X.

Samsung Galaxy S III • Galaxy Digicam GC100 • Samsung Ativ S I8750 • HTC Home windows Telephone 8X

By now Nokia had turn into a fan of the glass and it featured on the Lumia 920. Different influential phones to make use of GG2 embrace 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 totally new formulation. It was extra proof against scratches and the scratches it did obtain had been much less seen due to one thing Corning known as “Native Harm Resistance”.

To reveal it on the MWC, Corning dropped a 135g metal ball on a standard piece of glass and GG3. The traditional 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 Observe 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 (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 probably the most profitable formulations for Corning and it nonetheless sees use to this present day, listed here are just a few trendy units. The Pixel 6a makes use of it for its show. The Asus ROG Telephone 6 Professional makes use of it for its again. Curiously, 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 cellphone and the Ulefone Energy Armor 14 Professional.

Google Pixel 6a • Asus ROG Telephone 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 a substitute. 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 had been additionally used to guard the digicam and Contact ID fingerprint readers. However Apple needed larger sheets, ones that might cowl the show of iPhones. Sadly, the GT Superior went bankrupt whereas making an attempt to develop the know-how to make it doable. Sapphire Crystal has been used on some phones, however none which have the gross sales quantity of iPhones. It’s principally a watch factor.

It is a good segue into Gorilla Glass SR+, a glass from 2016 designed particularly designed for wearables. It provided higher injury resistance and decreased display reflections in comparison with “different luxurious cowl supplies”.

Corning formulated Gorilla Glass SR+ and DX/DX+ for wearables
(*15*)Corning formulated Gorilla Glass SR+ and DX/DX+ for wearables

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 response to Corning, it decreased reflections by 75%, which improved display 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 number of years later Corning reintroduced Gorilla Glass DX and DX+ as safety for digicam lenses. The scratch resistance and improved optical efficiency is simply as essential for cameras as it’s for watches. DX and DX+ let 98% of gentle go by whereas decreasing reflections (which may trigger glare in photographs).

The most recent formulations from Corning are Gorilla Glass Victus and Victus+ (it stopped with the quantity variations after 6). Primarily based on official exams, 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 lots 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 an extended historical past of making glass for bigger shows like TVs too (although that does not get marketed below the “Gorilla Glass” title).

Corning’s subsequent problem is foldable phones – 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 every day fold and unfold cycles is not any simple feat. Nonetheless, it is an essential drawback to resolve as foldables are seen as the longer term of smartphones by some.

A sheet of foldable glass developed by Corning
A sheet of foldable glass developed by Corning
A sheet of foldable glass developed by Corning

A sheet of foldable glass developed by Corning

By 2020 Corning’s Gorilla Glass has been featured on 8 billion units 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 by many iterations and enhancements and the explanation it was wanted within the first place has not gone away.

An abridged history of Gorilla Glass

An abridged historical past of Gorilla Glass



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