Gorilla Glass makes smartphones more durable

What is Gorilla Glass? You may be holding some of it in your hands right now and not even know it.

Gorilla Glass was developed by Corning Inc. and is now commonly used to protect the screens of smartphones, tablets and even HDTVs. It’s a thin, damage-resistant kind of glass that relies on compression and large ions to make its surface less likely to be scratched or broken.

Of course, anyone who’s cracked a smartphone screen knows that it’s not unbreakable. But Gorilla Glass is less likely to get scratched in everyday use than traditional glass or plastic. Though Corning is a bit cagey about when exactly it began to be used in products, the biography “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson suggests that the late Apple CEO was instrumental in getting Gorilla Glass mass produced for use on the first iPhone, which was released in 2007.

Since then, hundreds of tech products have begun using the material. New iterations of Gorilla Glass have made the material thinner, and this month Corning introduced Gorilla Glass 3, which it says will be even stronger. It’s expected to roll out later this year on the screens of new products.

Email Omar Gallega at ogallega@statesman.com

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