Gorilla Glass 5 launch: New smartphone screens will be more rugged and touch sensitive than before

Corning today introduced Gorilla Glass 5, a strengthened version of Gorilla Glass 4 and offering better protection from drops between shoulder and waist height.

The new Gorilla Glass 5 will power upcoming smartphones and tablets, including iPhone 7 and 7 Plus launching in September.

Corning recently conducted a survey, the results of which revealed that 85% of smartphone owners dropped their phones at least once a year and over half of all smartphone owners dropped their phones thrice a year. As such, a lot of smartphone owners must have damaged their phone screens in the process, a continuing problem which Gorilla Glass 5 will address.

According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 5 'survives up to 80 percent of the time when dropped face-down from 1.6 meters onto rough surfaces, far outperforming competitive glass designs.' The company reportedly carried out extensive tests on the new glass type before making the claim. Compared to Gorilla Glass 4 which is present in almost all premium smartphones, Gorilla Glass 5 delivers better 'damage resistance, optical clarity, touch sensitivity, and protection from drops.'

“With each successive generation of Corning Gorilla Glass, we have taken cover glass technology to new levels. Gorilla Glass 5 is no exception, extending Corning’s advantage in drop performance over competitive glasses. With many real-world drops occurring from between waist and shoulder height, we knew improving drop performance would be an important and necessary advancement,” said John Bayne, vice president and general manager at Corning Gorilla Glass.

The company's claims on Gorilla Glass' ruggedness are only based on situations when devices were dropped flat on their face from a height of up to 1.6 metres. The glass will be more vulnerable in scenarios when devices will either fall on their edges or their sides and their fate will depend on overall design factors of phones and tablets.

With Gorilla Glass 5 being commercially available from today, it is expected that a number of upcoming phones, especially those launching at IFA in September, upcoming Nexus phones and iPhone 7 variants may feature Gorilla Glass 5 screens in the near future.

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