Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7 may feature Gorilla Glass 5, here's what that means

Smartphones break. They get dropped, sat on, and tossed around on a regular basis, which is why they all let the magic smoke out sooner or later. Alas, smartphone makers can't make people treat their gadgets with greater care. They can, however, make tougher phones.

This is where Gorilla Glass comes into play. Over the past decade or so, this cleverly engineered material has found its way into numerous smartphone models, protecting their most vulnerable component – the display – from damage. And now, in its fifth generation, Gorilla Glass is more awesome then ever. So awesome, in fact, that Samsung and Apple could be in talks with its maker, Corning, about using Gorilla Glass 5 in their upcoming devices. According to rumors, that is. But what makes Gorilla Glass 5 so special and what are its key strengths? Well, let us explain.

How is Gorilla Glass made, anyway?

If you take a handful of beach sand and heat it up to a few thousand degrees, it will melt and turn into glass. In a nutshell, this is how people have been producing the versatile yet fragile material for ages, using it to make anything from skyscraper windows to those cutesy mason jars they sell at IKEA.

Making Gorilla Glass, however, takes a few extra steps. To obtain the desired properties, glass is chemically strengthened by being immersed in a hot potassium salt bath – a procedure that causes an ion-exchange process to occur. Sodium ions in the glass are replaced by potassium ions, which are larger in volume and occupy more space. This gives the material greater resistance to scratching and cracking. Of course, that's just an overly simplified description of the glass's manufacturing process, as a number of other sophisticated procedures are involved, some of which exclusive to Corning.

On a related note, other types of strengthened glass are made in a similar fashion. This includes the cover glass on the iPhone 6s, which is manufactured using a dual ion-exchange process.

What makes Gorilla Glass 5 special?

Each successive generation of Gorilla Glass brought improvements to the overall durability of the material, but the launch of Gorilla Glass 5 sure seems like Corning's greatest leap forward to date. According to its maker, the material will survive a 1.6-meter (5.25-feet) face-down drop onto a rough surface in up to 80% of cases. That's basically a drop from shoulder height – while taking a dramatic group selfie, for instance. By comparison, Gorilla Glass 4 could achieve such a success rate from a height of only 1 meter (3.3 feet). It was still up to two times stronger than Gorilla Glass 3, though. Needless to say, Gorilla Glass 5 also promises great touch sensitivity and optical clarity, just like its predecessors. 

So, what does all this mean for the Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7?

To be clear, Samsung has not yet confirmed that Gorilla Glass 5 will be used in the Galaxy Note 7, but the rumors claiming that's the case are believable. As its maker announced, GG5 is "commercially available and is expected to be on product models from leading global brands later this year." Moreover, this won't be the first time when a new generation of Gorilla Glass debuts on a Samsung product. Gorilla Glass 4, for example, first appeared on the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. The material was later used on the Galaxy Note 4 as well. 

As far as the next iPhone is concerned, its screen is very likely to be covered by strengthened glass made by Corning. It won't be necessarily called Gorilla Glass 5, but it could very well be manufactured in a similar way, having identical mechanical and optical properties. The scenario seems plausible, as Corning has a history of working with Apple, supplying cover glass for a number of iPhone models (including the iPhone that started it all). The material has never been referred to as Gorilla Glass, however. 

In any case, it should be noted that the level of protection provided by Gorilla Glass 5 depends not only on the material's strength, but also on the way it has been implemented. Naturally, a thicker layer of the glass will be tougher to break, yet a manufacturer could choose to go for a thinner layer in order to design a slimmer device overall. Furthermore, every curve along the glass surface and every protrusion above the handset's frame would be practically a weak spot – a spot where a crack will surely occur if enough impact force is applied. 

To sum it all up, Gorilla Glass 5 will be tougher, but it will not be indestructible. It will surely break if its implementation in the Galaxy Note 7 or the iPhone 7 isn't optimal or if you simply happen to drop your phone the "right" way. Still, we're optimistic about the performance of the material's newest generation, especially given the substantial improvements demonstrated in lab tests. More on the matter is likely to be made known in just a few days – on August 2, when the Galaxy Note 7 is expected to be announced.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 7
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh
iPhone 7
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10 Fusion, Quad-core, 2340 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 1960 mAh(14h 3G talk time)



2. Macready

Posts: 1829; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Apple doesn't use Gorilla Glass for its iPhones. Check the Corning website where they list all devices that do.

3. Nopers unregistered

That doesn't mean they won't in the future.

9. peacetoallfellas

Posts: 76; Member since: Jul 15, 2016

its phonearena what can u expect from them just ignore the article with iphone it is always over exaggerated

12. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

They use Corning, they just don't call it Gorilla glass. This is why Corning was upset when there were rumors Apple was moving to Sapphire.

32. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

So, they use a custom variant of corning or an outdated version of corning and just rename it? That's the only way it can still be corning they use on the iPhone 6s, yet not have it match the S6 in scracth resistance:

18. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 153; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

They do manufacture for Apple, but Apple has chosen to have them sign a non disclosure agreement for Corning not to mention Apple in any of their Marketing material. This is the case with all component suppliers to Apple e.g Sony, it's a well know secret that Sony supplies Apple with cameras, but they cannot mention this publicly. This is for differentiation and Marketing purposes for Apple. They call their camera 'iSight' for example and wouldn't want that to be associated with anyone else but Apple.

35. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

So once again apple lies to there loyal sheep.

45. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1581; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Then why is Apple ok with the world knowing LG and Samsung both provide them with parts? Apple literally manufacturers nothing, they design a phone from others components.

69. keithtae

Posts: 564; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

They will call it, 'Diamond 4D colorful unicorn glass'.

78. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

They did in the past. I just think they tried to leave it, because they don't want Samsung getting a cut of the cash because Samsung has a 5% stake in Corning Glass.

4. Nopers unregistered

I want to know where it falls on the hardness scale though. Not boasting more scratch resistance so I would assume it's just a more drop resistant GG4.

5. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

On the contrary i have never seen corning gorilla glasses to be better than normal glasses. Dragontrail glasses are much better imo. I think corning is very overrated.

6. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1841; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Gorilla glass always breaks as far as I can see... Why can't they make phone out of the shatterproof glass on those Motorola phones?

11. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

See I hate plastic screens like Moto uses for the shatter proof screens. I prefer glass that feels like glass.. just put a tempered glass screen protector on it and it's good if it's dropped

17. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

The insides can get Jared up and screw things up as well

31. TerryTerius unregistered

The trade-off is that plastic screens scratch pretty easily.

37. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

That's what screen protectors are for.

7. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

Glass is glass it BREAKS!!!!! iPhones or android it breaks!!! It's part of having a smartphone just have to be careful and have a good case..

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Apples going back to Gorilla Glass? Haha. They finally gonna stop using that cheap Ion garbage that breaks on their own phone? Apple likely wanted to drop Corning, because Samsung has a 5% stake in Corning Glass. Yet they keep coming back. With Samsung the iPhone is garbage. Wait, with a 25% failure rate, even with Samsung it's garbage. The parts that are causing the failure aren't made by Samsung.

10. peacetoallfellas

Posts: 76; Member since: Jul 15, 2016

lol that means shamesung parts are garbage then coz they are the one who supply these niche parts to niche fruit company .

13. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

I agree apples getting cheaper too!!! Also more EXPENSIVE too but that's Tim CROOK!!!! Collecting the money and screwing the buyer

15. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

The ion glass was made by Corning dummy. They just dont call it Gorilla glass.

23. willard12 unregistered

Is there an actual source for this claim from Apple or Corning?

27. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Its better that they dont mention Corning makes them:

16. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

The ion glass was made by Corning dummy. They just dont call it Gorilla glass.

29. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Ugh shut up tard, you can't even hate on Apple without spouting untrue stupidity. Go play with your Samsung phone and it's awesome Samsung developed OS. Sorry my stupidity, Samsung doesn't have their own OS, they need to rely on Google for that super critical part that without which their phones wouldn't even function. Now please reply and tell me about Samsung's Tizen, and how it'll be on the Note 7. Or maybe the S8.

20. Ghost04

Posts: 522; Member since: May 03, 2014

Just use a hard case . It can take any drop but not Gorilla Glass 5

22. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Is there something you're not saying, PA?

30. cantstopkchen

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 10, 2014

smh why you gotta do harambe like that

33. fyah_king unregistered

Apple only uses iglass. The cheaper version of gorilla glass 5.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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