When Corning announced in summer 2020 the production of Gorilla Glass Victus, the newest generation of the chemically strengthened Gorilla Glass brand, it was thought that it would be at least another two years before the next generation hit the market.
But in October 2020, Apple publicised the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro would feature Ceramic Shield, a glass-ceramic developed in collaboration with Corning.
Compared to previous generations, Gorilla Glass Victus improved both scratch resistance and drop resistance, properties that are difficult to improve at the same time.
Since 2014, Corning had focused on improving drop resistance, but with Victus, Corning started the design process almost from square one to account for both properties in the glass.
Several phones containing Gorilla Glass Victus are now available for purchase.
Glass-ceramics are a hybrid material that features nanoceramic crystals embedded within a glass matrix.
Glass-ceramics are tougher than glass, but the crystals have traditionally affected the material’s transparency.
The Ceramic Shield developed by Apple and Corning, though, retains optical transparency by optimising type of crystals and degree of crystallinity—and this is what makes Ceramic Shield usable as a screen cover.
Ceramic Shield undergoes the dual ion-exchange process used to chemically strengthen Gorilla Glass and also sits flush to the edge of the phone.
Together, these process and design decisions give Ceramic Shield 4x better drop performance compared to the previous iPhone generation, according to Apple.
“We are incredibly proud of our collaboration with Apple on Ceramic Shield, made possible in part through the Advanced Manufacturing Fund and the hard work and dedication of hundreds of individuals at Corning and Apple,” said Wendell P. Weeks, Corning’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“We thank Apple for our longstanding product-development partnership and for their continued commitment to supporting the American workforce.”