Corning is working on bendable Gorilla Glass for foldable phones
If you’re using a smartphone made in the last decade then chances are it is using some sort of Gorilla Glass material to protect the screen. Corning, the maker of Gorilla Glass, has been in business for decades and they have experimented with “chemically strengthened glass” since 1960. While Gorilla Glass has evolved since it was introduced on the original iPhone, OEMs have been forced to go with plastic screens in the new foldable devices. However, it has now been revealed that Corning is working on a bendable version of Gorilla Glass for upcoming foldable smartphones.
If it wasn’t clear already, MWC 2019 made it obvious that companies are putting a lot of development and research resources into foldable devices. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Fold alongside the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and the Galaxy S10e, while the Mate X was Huawei’s way of flexing their innovation. Even Lenovo has been showing off a folding tablet, as well as a smartphone/smartwatch combo, during their solo tech conventions over the last couple of years. It’s unclear if they will resonate with the consumer market but companies seem to believe it’s the way forward.
The downside with these devices, just like we’ve seen with “unbreakable” displays, is that they aren’t using glass to protect the screen. Instead, they are using a type of plastic so that these devices can actually bend. Glass can be made to fold but not in ways that we’ve seen in these products. This may change in the future though as John Bayne, the head of Corning’s Gorilla Glass division, says they are working on a way to get their Gorilla Glass to meet the demands of today’s requirements from OEMs.
We don’t have any specific times as to when we should expect a commercial product to come from Corning, but Bayne says he expects them to reach that goal by the time foldable smartphones go mainstream (in a couple of years).