Corning’s Gorilla Glass is the display cover of choice for many smartphones, tablets, and convertibles. Gorilla Glass 4 has been with us for nearly two years now, but it’s time for it to move aside for the latest version: Gorilla Glass 5.
Gorilla Glass is great at resisting scratches, but it’s prone to shattering when dropped. With Gorilla Glass 5, Corning claims the glass is now able to survive more drops than ever. The official claim is that the new stuff survives “1.6-meter, shoulder-height drops onto hard, rough surfaces up to 80% of the time.”
Corning claims this is “up to 4X better in drop failure height than competitive glasses” but we’re struggling to name a single competitive glass. (Samsung might have made one once on the Galaxy Nexus? Maybe Apple?) As usual Apple suppliers aren’t allowed to mention their involvement, but other than iOS devices, Gorilla Glass has a near monopoly in smartphones.
Corning has seen some competition from Motorola lately in the form of its “Shattershield” display cover on the Moto Z Force. This goes for extreme drop survivability with a plastic display cover and a second, redundant touch panel in case you break the first one. It’s very easy to scratch, though.
Corning says shattered screens are the “consumers’ No. 1 issue” with mobile devices. It cites a recent study saying “85 percent of smartphone owners have dropped their phones at least once per year and 55 percent have dropped their phones three times or more.” Gorilla Glass 5 is commercially available now and we should see devices from “leading global brands” later this year.