Doorknobs. Keyboards. Mobile electronics of all kinds. I'll take "things that are always covered in germs and crap, and which I really prefer not to think about" for $400, Alex. Yes, all the things you touch every day have a nasty habit of leaving gunk on your touchscreen phone - it's kind of part and parcel of the whole "touch" thing. But Corning wants to make you feel a little less gross when you think about that with its new version of the ubiquitous Gorilla Glass.

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They call it Antimicrobial Corning(R) Gorilla(R) Glass (really?), and though it was announced way back in January of last year, the recently-revealed ZTE Axon is the first phone to actually use the feature. According to Corning, the antimicrobial layer on the glass will last for the lifetime of the phone, on top of the patented durability and scratch resistance. The glass is registered with the EPA.

Of course, "antimicrobial" isn't worth as much as you think - while the surface will technically kill or inhibit bacteria, fungi, protozoans, and other itty bitty beasties, the applications for technology like that aren't all that useful outside of the medical or food prep fields. Your skin and immune system are better at neutralizing potentially dangerous microbes than any passive surface, and even Corning's press release says that the company "makes no direct or implied claims to protecting users or providing other health benefits."

Press Release

CORNING, N.Y., July 21, 2015 - Corning Incorporated GLW, -0.93% today announced that ZTE Corporation has chosen Antimicrobial Corning(R) Gorilla(R) Glass for its newest flagship smartphone in China, the ZTE AXON.

"With the rise of touch technology and our constant interaction with people and public surfaces, the microbes on our smartphones are not our own," said Dr. Joydeep Lahiri, division vice president and program director, Specialty Surfaces, Corning Incorporated. "We developed Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass to address this concern and are excited to see this technology enter the consumer electronics space with the launch of the ZTE AXON."

Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass is the first EPA-registered antimicrobial cover glass. It combines the renowned benefits of Corning Gorilla Glass technology, including durability, scratch resistance and toughness, with a built-in antimicrobial property to last the lifetime of the display cover glass.

"We are delighted to work with Corning to offer the first smartphone with Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass," said Dr. Ji Zhongwei, chief technology officer of ZTE Mobile Devices and vice president of ZTE Corporation. "The AXON phone is our flagship device and incorporates the latest innovations in smartphone hardware and software in a stylish package that we believe will have outstanding customer appeal."

Corning Gorilla Glass is the world leader in damage-resistant cover glass. Since its launch in 2007, Corning Gorilla Glass has been featured in nearly 4 billion devices worldwide on more than 1,550 product models across 40 major brands. Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass is the same product with added antimicrobial properties. For more information on Corning Gorilla Glass, visit the website.

Disclaimer

Antimicrobial Corning(R) Gorilla(R) Glass is formulated with antimicrobial properties to help protect touch surfaces from stain and odor-causing bacteria. Corning makes no direct or implied claims to protecting users or providing other health benefits.