Corning executive recites the downside to the use of sapphire glass

Corning executive recites the downside to the use of sapphire glass
You just can't monkey around with Corning. The company behind the Gorilla Glass screens that have been used for years to prevent scratches and other damage on mobile touchscreen devices, might soon have competition from sapphire glass. Rumors persist that the next-gen Apple iPhone 6 will be employing the second hardest material on the planet after diamonds. The speculation received a strong bump after Canonical executive Mark Shuttleworth recently accused Apple of cornering the market on 4.5 inch sapphire glass panels.

On Tuesday, at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Corning Glass executive Tony Tripeny mentioned a list of what could be the downside of using sapphire glass on a smartphone screen. The executive said that sapphire is 10 times more expensive than Gorilla Glass and weighs 1.6 times as much as Corning's product. Tripeny added that the sapphire glass requires 100 times the energy to light up the screen than a Gorilla Glass display needs. He also adds that sapphire glass is environmentally unfriendly.


The Corning executive said that using sapphire means dimmer screens or accepting less battery life in devices that use it. And while Tripeny did admit that sapphire glass is a very hard material, he claims that testing has shown that Gorilla Glass can withstand 2.5 times the pressure. It also takes 4000 times longer to form sapphire than Gorilla Glass.

So does it sound like Corning is obsessed with the possible competition? Heck, they even put up a website that debates the issue, which you can find at the sourcelink.



source: SeekingAlpha, Corning via AppleInsider

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49 Comments

1. D.Aceveda

Posts: 430; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Gorilla Glass FTW

13. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

If the points being made by Tripeny are true, it would seem that Apple has some problems to overcome. Otherwise, I think sapphire will be used for the iWatch. It will be interesting to see what screen material graces the iP6, though.

30. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well the thing with Apple is, they do it more for marketing than consumer benefit. I can only imagine the amount of misinformation they can spread with the word sapphire (like with their camera lens). Still, I think it makes sense for the iWatch because likely no one is dropping it so shattering is less of an issue. Scratching it is the main problem since having used watches before, I can attest that anything and everything will scratch them. Since sapphire glass is probably better at being scratch proof it will be more useful there.

45. 8logic

Posts: 153; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

completely agree. the headline will be fancy "sapphire" in stead of boring glass

23. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

The next iPhone will be 10x more expensive. Those poor souls. tsk tsk tsk

41. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

I'm sending in payments now!

25. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Does "It takes about 100 times more energy to generate a Sapphire crystal than it does glass." really mean that it takes 100 times more energy to light up the display? To me (non native english speaker), it sounds like it takes 100 times more energy to produce such a display. What do you think?

46. 8logic

Posts: 153; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

it was about production

2. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

if true, those are good points. however, gorilla is not the only tempered glass around. there's dragontrail. also, pls corning where's that reflection-less gorilla glass you were bragging before? i haven't seen it in an actual product.

3. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

I'll believe what he said when I see the feedbacks on an actual product.

4. D.Aceveda

Posts: 430; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Rest assured that while sapphire does indeed cost more than GG, Apple will definitely pass that cost to Apple consumers. I can see Jony Ive talking about it now "Sapphire.....its revolutionary. It feels remarkable to touch. It truly is magical"

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5601; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also I have doubt about Apple's Sapphire after watching this videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-3c1NYF8Gw He easily scratches the Sapphire over the fingerprint reader with a knife This should have been impossible since Sapphire is 9H and steel is 5-6H, unless if he had a diamond encrusted knife (10H)

11. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

or there's a screen protector a la sony

33. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Yeah I'll have to be careful of all the sharpened knives in my pocket.

37. vincelongman

Posts: 5601; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

You don't get it. The video suggests that Apple's Sapphire isn't any where as hard as real Sapphire. There's plenty of videos of people stabbing Gorilla Glass with knives and it doesn't leave any scratches.

19. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

But will it blend??? :-P ... And I think it's more evolutionary than revolutionary, a simple step up in the durability of a touch screen display. Frankly, I would rather have a flexible display, but that's just me.

49. num1gever

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

You forgot the "We have completely redesigned the iPhone 6. It's a product of many hours of research and feedback from you, the costumers, to make yet again - the best thing that happened to the iPhone since the iPhone." Such a load of cr*p..

5. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

But it hardly breaks. That alone beats Gorilla.

7. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

at the expense of battery life. no, thanks. i can live with a cover/case.

17. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I have yet to break my gorilla glass displays, unless you're throwing your phones off sky scrapers or sheer cliffs, I think GG is the better choice. That opinion of course dependent entirely on the above article being accurate.

26. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Actually, it's much more breakable than gorilla glass. It scratches much less.

47. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Yep, few people seem to realize that "hardness" is not the same as something like tensile strength or compressive strength. The market is ripe for Apple's marketing prowess.

6. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

I feel that sapphire glass to protect the camera is a good idea by fruit. I noticed it was next to impossible to scratch the camera of iphone 5s.

8. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

now, i'm just wondering - if sapphire glass means dimmer displays, why did apple use it to cover their cameras? iphone 5s cameras don't produce dark photos.

31. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Because the cover on the camera is much smaller and likely can be MUCH thinner than the front screen. The new cover did add a nice purple hue to the images sometimes though, so you can see it has different refractive properties.

10. lucid.brat unregistered

10 times more xpenisve....hell no...already iPhone is very costly and now....damn

12. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Im not a tree hugger, but why produce something that is so unfriendly to the environment? That is, if theres already great products out there. I could see going from saphire to gorilla type glass, but not the other way around. As much as I like me some old school reliable muscle cars, I dont think we should go back to it from todays muscle. Just how "unfriendly" is the saphire glass? Are we talking running one prius for 50 years compared to 1 billion screens?

20. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

He is talking about potential competition, and he is also talking about the company who made GG what it is (Apple), which may come back to haunt him. It would be akin to asking a Coca Cola executive if Pepsi was good, or having a BMW executive discuss Mercedes Benz. They are going to use internal talking points that have already been developed, factual or not, to lower the competition and elevate themselves.

29. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

But his points are all factual. Sapphire is more expensive, less transmittive, takes more energy to make and is more breakable than gorilla glass.

42. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

Do you think they are using the same sapphire treatment as Apple? No way, they are just butt hurt the company that made them who they are, are leaving because the new glass they make isn't up to our standards anymore. Both my iphone 5 and S4 screens broke. the cost is bought down buy buying in bulk and signing long term deals. This guy is a cry baby lame and was rightly fully kicked to the curb with sammy.

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