Corning's Project Phire Offers Sapphire Level Scratch Resistance
Corning announced a new 'Project Phire' tempered glass earlier this week set to combine the toughness of Gorilla Glass with the scratch resistance of sapphire crystal glass.
President James Clappin revealed the new project during an investor meeting in New York. It comes four months after Corning announced its even tougher Gorilla Glass 4.
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Project Phire was started following the increase in tempered glass screen protectors, showing customers want to make sure their screens aren't scratched.
Sapphire glass is one of the most scratch-resistant materials, but has a higher shatter rate than Gorilla Glass. The mixture of both seems like a natural advantage but it's still questionable how Corning created a solution as scratch proof as sapphire.
Corning didn't give a timeline on when Project Phire will be available to manufacturers. Considering the recent loss of GT Advanced Technologies, Apple might be interested in acquiring the new glass for its iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
There is currently no smartphone with sapphire crystal glass considering the expense of the glass and its limited availability (especially with GT Advanced announcing bankruptcy). It might be a few years before it's available to all manufacturers.
Apple will utilize sapphire glass on the Apple Watch but some analysts don't see the advantages of the scratch resistant glass on a larger display that's more inclined to shatter if dropped.