Who would have thought that glass would become so important to smartphone manufacturing that device makers would start putting it on both the front and the back of $700 devices? And the company that's making out like a bandit is Corning, the maker of the super-scratch-resistant "Gorilla" tempered glass that's now in a majority of premium phones. While Corning could probably rest on its laurels for a decade or two (at least until synthetic sapphire becomes a lot cheaper), its engineers are cranking out some new novelties for manufacturers to try.
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.
As a "new" company that caters almost exclusively to technology enthusiasts, OnePlus has been under the microscope ever since it announced its One flagship phone... with no small amount of criticism coming from this very website. But a string of recent posts on the official OnePlus forums prompted a response from the company's social team. Basically, customers accused OnePlus of shipping refurbished One phones and claiming they were new, a practice that isn't unheard of from consumer goods manufacturers and retailers of all sizes.
In a post on the OnePlus forum, a company representative outlined no less than seven cases where customers alleged that phones shipped to them were refurbished or less than new.
Odds are good that when you use a smartphone or tablet, you're touching Gorilla Glass. Since its debut in the original iPhone, Gorilla Glass has gone on to become the de facto standard for hardened glass on screens. Today the company is announcing Gorilla Glass 4, which it says is twice as durable as the competition.
What's that on your phone? Gorilla Glass 2? Psh, I guess that's alright for 2012, but Corning is about to make 2013 one whole digit more durable with Gorilla Glass 3. As is the tradition, Corning will be on hand at CES with Gorilla Glass 3 samples for the assembled press to beat up as a demonstration of its durability. How durable is it? Corning thinks it's pretty alright.
Corning's new strengthened glass has been tweaked at the molecular level to slow the spread of cracks and make scratches less visible. Corning calls this property Native Damage Resistance (NDR). Corning claims NDR will make devices three times more resistant to scratches, while offering a 40% reduction in visible scratches. So if your phone takes a nasty little tumble, the damage should remain localized rather than spreading out in the form of device-spanning cracks.
Flexible displays are a great idea. Without flexible glass to go with it, though, some applications still remain difficult. Thankfully, Corning, the company behind Gorilla Glass (otherwise known as "the only type of glass you know by name"), has introduced a new flexible glass called Willow Glass. This new material is slim and strong, though we'd expect nothing less from Corning. The product will also allow manufacturers to pursue roll-to-roll processing which, if you're familiar with materials processing and manufacturing, you know is a very big deal. If you're not, here's the short version: it makes things cheaper.
The company doesn't go to great length to explain just how flexible this glass is.
It seems that Corning is gearing up for an exciting CES this year (which is just a few short days from beginning), publishing a news release earlier today which details the glass giant's plans for the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow.
Corning's most significant offering at CES this month will be the unveiling of Gorilla Glass 2. The latest generation of Corning's hugely popular damage-resistant glass is said to deliver higher functionality in thinner devices, and "enable broader touch technology penetration," according to James Steiner, Senior VP and General Manager of Corning Specialty Materials. Corning promises to reveal more details in an announcement set for January 9th.
Corning, the wizards behind Gorilla Glass, have done it again - earlier this week, the glass giant announced Lotus Glass, a new, durable glass designed specifically for high-performance electronic displays.
For a while now, Corning's Gorilla Glass has been a household name when it comes to mobile electronics, coming to be something of a standard, and synonymous with durability. Corning's announcement of Lotus Glass, however, is about to shake things up, offering a significant step up from the current go-to name in tough glass.
Lotus Glass' main claim to fame is its ability to perform well (and hold up) in display manufacturing, allowing it to play nice with sophisticated displays.