Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9th in New York City. Apple’s 2018 iPhones are expected to debut in the first half of September. Just in time for these premium smartphones, Corning has announced its next-gen Gorilla Glass 6 that takes smartphone durability to a whole new level.
The timing of the announcement has sparked speculations that the Gorilla Glass 6 could be used in the Galaxy Note 9, iPhone X Plus, and other devices coming later this year. The new glass can survive multiple drops from higher heights than before.
What’s so special about the Gorilla Glass 6?
Last year’s Gorilla Glass 5 was pretty sturdy and scratch-resistant. Users didn’t have to worry about accidentally scratching the screen with coins, keys, etc. But durability was still a major issue considering people drop their phones at least four times a year on average.
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Corning claims the new Gorilla Glass 6 is twice as effective as the Gorilla Glass 5 that was released in 2016. Smartphone vendors will rush to adopt the new glass because glass covers nearly 85% of the surface on a smartphone. The rear panel on premium handsets is also made out of the glass to facilitate wireless charging. It puts them at a higher risk of cracking and shattering.
Corning said in a statement that the Gorilla Glass 6 could survive 15 drops on rough surfaces from a height of up to one meter. It offers “unprecedented protection against multiple drops” and enhanced protection against drops from higher heights.
It is made of an “entirely new glass composition” that could be “chemically strengthened” to make it sturdier than the Gorilla Glass 5. The higher compression of the new material significantly increases the likelihood of your phone surviving through multiple drops.
Corning says it had designed the new product with all-glass smartphones in mind. Devices such as the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 have glass panels on the front as well as back. The upcoming Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone X Plus are also expected to have a rear glass. Besides enhanced durability and scratch resistance, the Gorilla Glass also offers efficient wireless charging, touch sensitivity, and optical clarity.
In recent years, smartphone vendors have used different generations of Gorilla Glass on the front and back of the same phones, probably to reduce the production cost. Scratch resistance on the Gorilla Glass 6 is similar to that of the Gorilla Glass 5. So, a vendor may choose to use the older (and cheaper) Gorilla Glass 5 on one side and Gorilla Glass 6 on the other.
Will Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone X Plus get the Gorilla Glass 6?
We should expect to see the new product in flagship smartphones soon, though it is unclear whether it will find its way into the Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone X Plus. Corning said its new product was already “being evaluated” by several customers. First smartphones featuring the product will “reach the market in the next several months.”
The Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone X Plus have already entered production, so has the Gorilla Glass 6. There is a good chance Galaxy Note 9 could be the first phone to get Corning’s new product. Back in 2016 when Corning released the Gorilla Glass 5, the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 became the first phone to feature it.
We would be surprised if the Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone X Plus launch without the Gorilla Glass 6. They are the most anticipated smartphones in the second half of this year. Corning hasn’t officially confirmed which vendors will adopt the new display glass. It will be a welcome addition to phones with curved displays and glass backs.
Corning has been a long-time supplier to Apple. Last year, Apple invested $200 million in Corning as part of its Advanced Manufacturing Fund for R&D and new glass processing equipment. Corning’s Gorilla Glass is used in all the three iPhones released last year.
The Galaxy Note 9 will go on sale next month. It will feature the same Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chips that run the Galaxy S9. The phablet will also get an upgraded S Pen stylus with Bluetooth connectivity and built-in battery. The new S Pen can be used to control long-distance music playback, camera capture, and self-timer. Its appearance will be similar to the Galaxy S9 Plus.
The iPhone X Plus is said to have a 6.5-inch OLED screen. Just like last year’s iPhone X, it will have a bezel-less design and a top cutout. The device would feature a dual camera, 4GB RAM, the next-gen A12 chipset, and Face ID technology.