The past year has seen the arrival of one of the bigger developments to smartphone screens in recent years, with sapphire panels coming to affordable consumer-focused phones for the first time. Those may be headline-grabbing, but they’re still quite rare, and for all the attention we’ve been giving sapphire, it’s Corning and its Gorilla Glass 3 that have been the workhorse of the industry, protecting the displays of flagship handsets from manufacturer after manufacturer. Having launched all the way back in early 2013, though, even Gorilla Glass 3 is getting a little old; now it’s time for an even more advanced screen covering, and today Corning shares just that, introducing its latest Gorilla Glass 4.
The name of the game this time is shatter-proofing. Corning specifically went out to develop a Gorilla Glass 4 that would provide improved resistance to drop damage, and in tests where phones were dropped face-down onto rough surfaces from about three feet up (a worst-case drop from waist level), the GG4 survived intact eighty percent of the time – twice as often as its competition, says Corning.
Shipments of Gorilla Glass 4 are already headed out to OEM customers, though there’s no word yet on when to expect it in specific phones. Given the timing of this launch, at least, we wouldn’t be surprised for some of them to start showing up at CES. We’ve already spotted mention of Gorilla Glass 4 in recent spec leaks, so this hardware could be very much right around the corner. That’s important, for as much as Corning touts these shatter-resistance claims, we’re going to want to see some real-world evaluations.