In the battle of smartphones, Corning takes the crown
With so many platforms and so many devices to choose from (Android, iOS, Symbian or Windows Phone 7), some things remain the same. Some names are familiar (like Qualcomm or NVidia Tegra) while others are seldom mentioned, like Corning.
If you haven’t heard of the company, it’s because their product goes by the name Gorilla Glass. Sounds familiar?
Gorilla Glass is a damage-resistant, thin, lightweight piece of glass that protects your smartphones from scrapes, bumps and accidental drops.
The glass is placed in a hot bath of molten salt at a temperature of approximately 400Â°C. Smaller sodium ions leave the glass, and larger potassium ions from the salt bath replace them. These larger ions take up more room and are pressed together when the glass cools, producing a layer of compressive stress on the surface of the glass. Gorilla Glass’s special composition enables the potassium ions to diffuse far into the surface, creating high compressive stress deep into the glass.
This doesn’t mean Gorilla Glass is totally unbreakable. I’m sure, with enough determination, one can easily break it. It’s the hazards of daily use that’s what Gorilla Glass prevents your precious device from being harmed — like putting it with a bunch of keys in your pocket.
Corning’s numbers for Gorilla Glass are impressive — 30 major brands, 425 product models and over 300 million devices use Gorilla Glass. And they only started introducing it to the market in 2008.
Gorilla Glass is currently being used mainly for smartphones (Dell, HTC, Kryocera, Nokia, Samsung, NEC, LG and Motorola), tablets, even notebooks (Acer, LG, Lenovo) and TVs (Sony). Hyundai is also be using it with the LCD panel of their concept car called Hyundai Blue. I wonder what Apple is using for the iPhone and iPad (Note: Corning’s FAQ says some agreements prevent them from disclosing other brands).
The company made like $6.6 billion in 2010 so I’m sure they’re happy everyone’s getting Gorilla Glass nowadays (they made $80 million in the first 18 months since they introduced it). Btw, did you know Corning also introduced Pyrex back in 1915?