Sapphire glass is nearly three times tougher than Gorilla Glass, might be on future smartphones

Sapphire glass is nearly three times tougher than Gorilla Glass, might be on future smartphones
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 was just unveiled as the first phone coming with Corning’s new Gorilla Glass 3, and as tough as Gorilla Glass is, in the near future we might have much tougher glass on our devices. That will be sapphire glass, a type of glass that already has its use in the military for transparent armor, and that might soon arrive to smartphones.

A type aluminum oxide, sapphire is transparent and nearly three times tougher and more scratch resistant than current glass. It is actually so tough it’s comparable to diamonds. However unlike diamonds, it is much cheaper. This ruggedness and relatively affordable price make it a good candidate for the future superphones. The only hurdle? It is not yet affordable enough.

While Gorilla Glass could cost around $3 apiece, the same sized slab of sapphire might run phone makers up to $30.

There is a lot of savings to come though as competition in the space heats up and mass production would also significantly lower its costs.

We’re sure Corning will also not be resting idle while other companies try to make the case for sapphire. The end result though will surely be tougher and more scratch resistant glass in our smartphones.

source: Technology ReviewExtreme Tech

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44 Comments

1. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

ok cool

28. troutsy

Posts: 382; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

This whole article and all of its comments are just a big troll on anyone who knows the difference between scratch resistance and fracture toughness. Sapphire crystal weighs a ton compared to glass, and it STILL won't help if you drop it.

34. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Sapphire crystal tends to be heavier in application because to take full advantage of its properties, you need a thicker layer of it (3 mm or so). That being said, if you take full advantage of it, it will definitely help you if you drop it. According to a quick Wikipedia search, Sapphire crystal is the next hardest natural mineral after diamonds. It's so tough that they use it in bulletproof glass of armored vehicles, body armor, etc.

37. jcarrigan unregistered

Although Sapphire glass is amazing and would drastically improve the druability of the displays on phones, I am torn on this because I fully believe that ppl should be able to purchase a high end device with a 2 yr agreement for only $200.....not $500 because it has sapphire glass on it.

2. rustyimtiaz

Posts: 44; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

Hope the next Nexus phone will use it!!!

9. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Yeah sure, it barely breaks even with manufacturing and shipping costs yet they'll use a 10 times more expensive cover?

3. jade272727

Posts: 62; Member since: Dec 10, 2011

If you want a phone with Sapphire Glass, just add $30 more!

5. asulect

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 27, 2012

adding $30 to a phone's bill of material will actually add about $100 to final cost to consumers.

7. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

And Apple will charge you $100 more. ®

8. PointMaza

Posts: 60; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

trooolololololoooool..

14. jade272727

Posts: 62; Member since: Dec 10, 2011

But if you want an iPhone with Sapphire Glass, add $100 more!

40. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

No, add $300. They are very good with marketing, as well as marking up prices.

4. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Hope the Motorola X will have this on it.

6. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

It's nothing new! Nokias 8800 Arte series have them also there Vertu brand are equipped with them. ®

10. feres13

Posts: 307; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Is it the same thing that's covering the iPhone 5's lens? I heard them talking in the conference about a Sapphire cover lens

15. feres13

Posts: 307; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

39. vincelongman

Posts: 5692; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The Vertu Signature S from 2007 had a sapphire screen, I don't know if there was one before that, but since then there have been many phones by Vertu with sapphire screens.

11. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

He's alive! He was shot in the shirt pocket. His smart phone was in it. :)

12. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

$30? If it does its job well enough, absolutely.

13. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Wgat about Dragontrail glass?

17. DHILLON_ARSH

Posts: 66; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

WHAT'S THAT...???

16. SuperNexus

Posts: 127; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

ok..... So,we get tougher glass that's totally cool. (Scratch Problem solved) But what about battery most irretating problem...why I am not seeing any phone with 4000mAh+ battery. When the hell battery problem is going to be solved. This area really need improvement.

20. DHILLON_ARSH

Posts: 66; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

AGREED

31. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Soon. If I recall correctly, a breakthrough in graphene batteries should come pretty soon. Those will be really, really good. A lot is going into battery research. Part of that is for huge batteries to make solar/wind power more practical, and the other is for mobile.

18. siluro

Posts: 46; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Looks like it's very thick too, how well will it work when it's as thin as Gorilla Glass. Otherwise screen sensitivity will take a bit of a hit.

19. AamirSIII

Posts: 187; Member since: Oct 04, 2012

this is all bulls**t crap! Gorilla Glass was "supposed" withstand high pressures and scratch resistant and blah blah blah... but it didn't do any of this thing! i my self got a crack on screen of my Galaxy S3 when it dropped just from bed height... these things are just gimmicks and nothing but! i insist these huge companies to work on narrowing the bezels and making phones look and work better rather than deceiving people by these gimmicks...

21. eliasafram7

Posts: 83; Member since: Mar 18, 2013

are u sure????? my samsung galaxy note 1 was dropped from the kitchen table height on its face and nothing happened to the screen

22. taikucing unregistered

My motorola xoom has a microscopic scratch on the surface of gorilla glass.. It can be seen clearly when the display is turned off. I have never dropped my xoom. Initially I thought it was just a dirt. But after cleaning the glass, the scratch still exists.. I don't know why there is a scratch on its glass. Perhaps my nail caused it. Yeah eventhough it's just a very thin & short scratch, but it's very annoying

24. OpTiMuS_BlAcK

Posts: 418; Member since: May 04, 2012

My phone(which has been dropped plenty of times front-first) is on GG1 and it's still pretty clean. Scratches are only visible with strong lighting. Is it just me or is GG2 worse than GG1?

26. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

Its scratch resistant not scratch proof. No1 ever claimed that gorilla glass will save your phone from all damages smh. If your phone was made out of regular glass that screen would have shattered

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