Corning announced today that it is preparing to ship a new type of glass that can withstand scratches almost as well as sapphire while providing superior drop protection. The glass is the result of “Project Phire,” which aimed to create a more scratch-resistant glass to rival sapphire.
The announcement comes shortly after the company debuted Gorilla Glass 4, which is expected to be included on many new smartphone models this year. However, Project Phire could give even Gorilla Glass a run for its money, if it can live up to Corning’s claims.
Last year Apple was rumored to be working on a sapphire display for the iPhone 6 along with GT Advanced Technologies. That deal came to an end when mismanagement on GT’s end resulted in damaged sapphire, delayed shipments, and serious funding problems.
Whether Corning’s new endeavor will actually lead to more durable smartphones has yet to be seen. The company has made big promises for its latest product, but thus far hasn’t actually demonstrated Project Phire’s capabilities publicly.
Corning plans to ship Project Phire “later this year,” though an exact timeframe hasn’t been given.