Flashback: 15 years of Gorilla Glass on telephones

Because the story goes, simply six weeks earlier than the unique iPhone was launched CEO Steve Jobs obtained irritated that the plastic display screen of the prototype system he was utilizing obtained scratched up, only 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 develop into a staple of the smartphone market. Let’s 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 automobile 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 house 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 a number of the most necessary 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 screen was its every thing and it needed to be protected.

That was true of different smartphones too as they transitioned 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-Mobile G1

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

Contact telephones working nearly each OS on earth adopted Corning’s glass as effectively. From the tiny Samsung Corby to the i8910 Omnia HD powerhouse. From the trendy LG KM900 Enviornment to the distinctive LG BL40 New Chocolate.

It was additionally on the Nokia X6 (now that the Finns had been transferring 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 simply a number of the telephones from 2009.

Samsung S3650 Corby
Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
LG KM900 Arena
LG BL40 New Chocolate

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

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 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 Cellphone handset, the Ativ S, as did HTC on the creatively named Home windows Cellphone 8X.

Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
Samsung Galaxy Camera GC100
Samsung Activa S I8750
HTC Windows Phone 8X

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

By now Nokia had develop into 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 Find 5
LG Optimus G E975
LG Optimus 3D Max P720

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 proof against scratches and the scratches it did obtain had been much less seen because of one thing Corning known as “Native Harm Resistance”.

To display 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 inexpensive Moto G, its premium sibling Moto X (each made by Google-owned Motorola) and the LG Nexus 5.

Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom

Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4 • Samsung Galaxy Notice 3 • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom

Motorola Moto G
Motorola Moto X
LG Nexus 5

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

Nokia Lumia 1020 • Nokia Lumia 1320

Gorilla Glass 3 was one of the profitable formulations for Corning and it nonetheless sees use to this present day, listed below are just a few fashionable gadgets. The Pixel 6a makes use of it for its show. The Asus ROG Cellphone 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 Phone 6 Pro
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
Ulefone Power Armor 14 Pro

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 a substitute. It was nonetheless a Corning product, nevertheless.

Cupertino really tried switching away from glass round this level. He was working with GT Superior, an organization that made sapphire crystal screens for the Apple Watch. These had been additionally used to guard the digital camera and Contact ID fingerprint readers. However Apple wished larger sheets, ones that would cowl the show of iPhones. Sadly, the GT Superior went bankrupt whereas making an attempt to develop the know-how to make it potential. Sapphire Crystal has been used on some telephones, however none which have the gross sales quantity of iPhones. It’s principally a watch factor.

This can be a good follows into Gorilla Glass SR+, a glass from 2016 particularly designed for wearables. It supplied higher injury resistance and decreased display screen reflections in comparison with “various luxurious cowl supplies”.

Corning formulated Gorilla Glass SR+ and DX/DX+ for wearables
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 keeping with Corning, it decreased 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 more durable.

Just a few 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 necessary for cameras as it’s for watches. DX and DX+ let 98% of sunshine cross by way of whereas decreasing reflections (which might trigger glare in photographs).

The newest formulations from Corning are Gorilla Glass Victus and Victus+ (it stopped with the quantity variations after 6). Based mostly on official checks, 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+ at the moment are 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 Ultra 5G
Asus Zenfone 9
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely 5G • Asus Zenfone 9 • Google Pixel 6 Professional • Xiaomi 12S Extremely

Sony Xperia 1 IV
Samsung Galaxy Xcover6 Pro
OnePlus 10 Pro
Oppo Find X5 Pro

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 creating glass for bigger shows like TVs too (although that does not get marketed below the “Gorilla Glass” title).

Corning’s subsequent problem is foldable telephones – simply use “Extremely Skinny Glass” (UTG), which measures one third the thickness of a human hair. It is so skinny that it will probably bend, not one thing you see glass do usually. However making it sturdy sufficient for tons of of every day fold and unfold cycles isn’t any simple feat. Nonetheless, it is an necessary downside to unravel as foldables are seen as the way forward for 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 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 by way of 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

Leave a Comment