Corning is currently working on developing Gorilla Glass 4 with the aim of developing a solution that it strong enough to withstand sudden drops on to hard surfaces such as concrete, in an effort to stop phone screens from smashing so easily.
Gorilla Glass has been embraced by almost every major smartphone maker so far, including Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and Microsoft. Most flagship devices these days make good use of Gorilla Glass 3, which is fairly strong but still susceptible to cracks from drops. Gorilla Glass 4 is aiming to overcome this problem.
Corning says that its scientists have examined hundreds of broken devices and shattered screens during the development process. This examination confirmed something we all could have guessed, smartphones break most often when they suddenly come in to contact with hard or rough surfaces.
The team over at Corning have since gone on to create new drop tests, which use 180-grit sandpaper to simulate rough surfaces. Up to 80 percent of the time, the current version of Gorilla Glass 4 survived drops of around 1 meter high, showing a sizable improvement over Gorilla Glass 3.
Cliff Hund, President of Corning East Asia, has said that “there are no downsides” to Gorilla Glass 4, it has improved resistance to damage but allows for the same optical clarity. The Corning executive also admitted that while there are plus sides to sapphire displays, glass remains as the right choice for now. “When you line up all the things that consumers are interested in, the Gorilla exceeds in more of them than any other material at this point in time”.
Gorilla Glass 4 isn't ready yet though, the team aims to improve the 80 percent drop survival rate although realistically, people will inevitably end up with a smashed phone one way or the other but next year's flagship devices will now have a higher chance of remaining intact after a nasty fall.
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KitGuru Says: Gorilla Glass 4 isn't perfect and won't completely eliminate smashed phones but it should help a bit. What do you guys think? Are our smartphone screens too weak?