The GTAT mess may have forced Apple to abandon its presumed plans to replace iPhone Gorilla Glass screens with sapphire, but next year’s iPhone displays could still prove up to twice as shatter-resistant, says glass-maker Corning.

Corning said that studying hundreds of broken phone screens had revealed the unsurprising fact that shattered screens most commonly occurred in a one-meter drop onto a rough surface like concrete or asphalt. Drop tests in these conditions found that Gorilla Glass 4 survived up to 80% of such impacts – twice the record of the Gorilla Glass 3 used in current iPhones.

While there was much scientific testing behind the scenes, the videos the company used to illustrate the improved strength were rather less scientific in nature …

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The company said that there was no downside to the increased strength, Gorilla Glass 4 retaining the same optical clarity as the previous generation of the toughened glass.

We saw yesterday some of the different failures experienced by GTAT in attempting to make sufficiently large sapphire boules to meet demand from Apple. More than half of the attempts were unsuccessful, each failure costing around $20,000.

While Apple’s plans for next year’s iPhone and iPad screens aren’t yet known, Gorilla Glass 4 seems a strong contender. Other sapphire suppliers are able to meet volume requirements for lens covers and Touch ID buttons, but there is currently insufficient worldwide production capacity to make iPhone and iPad screens practical.

Via The Verge

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