Corning is hard at work to develop ultra-thin Gorilla Glass for foldable phones
Back in September, we passed along the word that the foldable Samsung handset coming early next year will not sport Gorilla Glass. If you believe that the modern smartphone era started with the Apple iPhone back in 2007, Corning's Gorilla Glass has been there since the beginning. While Corning has had to deal with larger screens of course, but protecting a display that folds is a different matter entirely.
CNET was able to get a look at Corning's ultra-thin bendable glass, and says it is just .1mm thick; it also can bend in half like a piece of paper to a 5mm radius. Polly Chu, Technology Director at Corning, says that in order to produce glass that has a tight bend radius, it needs to be thinner than what is seen on smartphones today. Chu notes that some of the glass being tested in the Corning lab is thinner than a human hair.
Corning is not yet ready to ship a foldable Gorilla Glass which means that the Flexpai, expected to ship this month, will rely on plastic. That is not as good as glass for protecting the screens used on mobile devices since plastic can scratch, change color over time, and will crease. Those are three things that you won't find with Corning's glass. As for Samsung, the buzz around the water cooler is that a transparent polyimide material will be used to protect the screen on the Galaxy Flex.