Corning Unveils 'Project Phire' Super Scratch-Resistant Glass

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Corning today unveiled a new material that it's been working on, which combines the strength of its existing Gorilla Glass with ultra scratch-resistance like that of sapphire, reports CNET. The material, which goes by the name "Project Phire," was shown off during an investor meeting by Corning Glass president James Clappin.
"We told you last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn't fare well when dropped," Clappin, president of Corning Glass Technologies, told the crowd at the event. "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."
Corning's existing Gorilla Glass product is used in a range of smartphone and tablet displays, from Samsung's Galaxy line to Apple's own iOS lineup. Apple planned to move away from Corning's Gorilla Glass with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, switching instead to sapphire produced by GT Advanced, but was unable to use the material due to production issues that later saw the dissolution of the partnership between the two companies.

According to Corning, Gorilla Glass is superior to sapphire due to sapphire's brittleness and tendency to shatter when dropped. Corning has on several occasions pitted Gorilla Glass against sapphire to highlight the former's benefits -- lighter weight, greater strength, and lower pricing.

Gorilla Glass 4, Corning's most recent product, is even more resistant to shattering when it falls onto hard, rough surfaces than previous versions of Gorilla Glass, but it is unable to match the scratch resistant properties of sapphire crystal. Sapphire is second only to diamond when it comes to hardness, and Apple already uses the material to protect the iPhone's rear camera and Touch ID fingerprint sensor from scratches.

Apple's desire to produce iPhone displays with greater scratch resistance may make Corning's "Project Phire" material highly appealing to the company for use in next-generation devices, as it could potentially serve as a more affordable, easier to acquire replacement for sapphire.

Article Link: Corning Unveils 'Project Phire' Super Scratch-Resistant Glass
 

Skika

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Mar 11, 2009
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Why does scratch resistant glass/sapphire matter so much when in reality its the oleophobic coating that gets scratched and leaves marks the most?
 

AngerDanger

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Nothing conveys the shear strength of Gorilla Glass quite like a slightly meek looking gorilla huddled on a crosswalk.

It's a baby gorilla who just dropped his phone. But he needn't worry because of the sheer strength of Gorilla Glass.
D'oh.
 
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The Mercurian

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Mar 17, 2012
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Nothing conveys the shear strength of Gorilla Glass quite like a slightly meek looking gorilla huddled on a crosswalk.
You raise a valid point. I question the ferocity of the gorillas with which Corning test their Gorilla Glass.

And what does Gorilla Glass 4 even mean ? Does that mean the glass is resistant to 4 meek gorillas ??!?!?!? What the hell is that in the real world ?? :(
 

Karma*Police

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Jul 15, 2012
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Give me either option. I've never owned a smartphone that didn't end up with hairline scratches.
 

orioncrystalice

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the plot thickens. I hope people don't think this has just now been whistled into creation and :apple: had no idea.
 

Ronm01

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Dec 31, 2013
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Come on haters! Get it out of your system! Apple doesn't know how to run a major corporation. It's a wonder they're still in business! :p
 

akm3

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Nov 15, 2007
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That's a cute picture of the simian, but wouldn't you want a gigantic, tough Silverback 800lb gorilla for your picture of Gorilla Glass™ toughest baddest smartphone glass? Instead of cute / cuddly?
 

thekeyring

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Jan 5, 2012
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London
I dropped my phone about two hours ago and smashed screen.

Anything that makes the screen stronger is good.
 

that be me

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Sep 12, 2013
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Honest question: has Apple actually stated that they use Corning Gorilla glass for their devices? I'm not talking about that one book where it supposedly credits a supplier in Texas. I mean referring to Corning by name.

Nothing conveys the shear strength of Gorilla Glass quite like a slightly meek looking gorilla huddled on a crosswalk.
So the badass gorilla on the actual device isn't enough for you?
 

gnasher729

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Nov 25, 2005
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Nothing conveys the shear strength of Gorilla Glass quite like a slightly meek looking gorilla huddled on a crosswalk.
It's a baby gorilla who just dropped his phone. But he needn't worry because of the sheer strength of Gorilla Glass.

That's a cute picture of the simian, but wouldn't you want a gigantic, tough Silverback 800lb gorilla for your picture of Gorilla Glass™ toughest baddest smartphone glass? Instead of cute / cuddly?
That cuddly gorilla won't be told off by his 800 pound dad because the phone isn't broken.
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors 604
Does that phone look slightly bent after it's tumble?

Or maybe a protruding lens in one corner is creating an illusion of bent?

But the biggest problem by far is how THICK that phone looks. Must get thinner!!! Everyone I know is always griping about how all smart phones are just too thick. Maybe Apple could leave out the battery, guts and screen, so the next one can really be thinned out?

All ;)
 
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AngerDanger

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It's a baby gorilla who just dropped his phone. But he needn't worry because of the sheer strength of Gorilla Glass.
Oh, yes, right. I'm going to pretend that I'm not thick and blame my misunderstanding on the phone, which appears to be floating due to odd editing. :eek:

I do think they could make their point better without losing subtlety.

 
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lowercaseperson

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Oct 5, 2006
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Give me either option. I've never owned a smartphone that didn't end up with hairline scratches.
Agreed. I don't want to have to hold my breath as I turn over the iPhone I dropped 2 feet on to the cement, thinking my screen will be in 1,000 pieces and unusable. I'll take a few barely noticeable scratches over a shattered screen any day.
 

rp2011

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Oct 12, 2010
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Well, they tried. It was a costly mistake, but in the end everybody wins. Corning is far better suited to be making glass than Apple. In the end it was probably a blessing it didn't work out.
 

jayducharme

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Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
www.karenandjay.com
Honest question: has Apple actually stated that they use Corning Gorilla glass for their devices?
Phil Schiller called it "ion-strengthened glass". The only company currently producing such a product is Corning.

Corning was probably going to lose Apple as a buyer if Apple had been able to produce sapphire. So that probably forced Corning's hand to make something similar and at a better price point. If Apple does go with them for the next iPhone, everybody wins.
 

nouveau-apple

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Sep 29, 2014
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Nothing conveys the shear strength of Gorilla Glass quite like a slightly meek looking gorilla huddled on a crosswalk.
Lol it's such a funny picture. It's looking like it just dropped the phone.

That's how I look when I drop my phone.

Like, "what am I going to do???"
 

lolkthxbai

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May 7, 2011
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Glass vs Sapphire

There was report not long ago about how it was now possible to create sapphire that would allow a lot more light through an not require a bright backlight and thereby reducing battery consumption and increasing battery life.