By Alexandra Burlacu | May 08, 2013 10:54 AM EDT
Most smartphones sport Gorilla Glass protection against scratches, but a new kid on the block is turning heads: sapphire protection.
Protecting against scratches, particularly to the screen, is one of the most important issues for smartphone and tablet owners, and an entire industry is committed to catering to this need. Corning currently leads the industry with its famous Gorilla Glass screens, but sapphire screens are emerging as a promising alternative aiming to take the lead.
Corning, however, is not willing to give up that easily. The company is not only ready to compete with the upcoming sapphire rival, but it's also ready to silence claims that sapphire could dethrone or even replace its world-famous Gorilla Glass screens. Corning recently ran tests of its strongest Gorilla Glass 3 material and stacked it up against its own lab-grown sapphire sheets. Based on the tests, it concluded that sapphire is just a little more scratch-resistant, but just as prone to damage and breaking as Gorilla Glass 3.
Samples of Corning's in-house and lab-grown sapphire could not top Gorilla Glass 3 in the classic tumble test, where devices are spun for 45 minutes to see how it handles scratches, the company's senior vice president and operations chief of staff Jeff Evenson told CNET. Sapphire did, however, best Gorilla Glass in resistance to macro-scratches. Evenson also said sapphire is "brittle," and noted it could be dangerous to users right after breaking.
So Corning and Evenson are not such big fans of sapphire — shocker! The company believes that sapphire may not be the best material to use for next-generation displays, which will only get bigger and more feature-rich as technology advances. Corning adds that it doesn't plan to use sapphire alternatives instead of Gorilla Glass anytime soon.
Corning did not share a detailed report of its test results, nor did it plan to work with an independent testing unit to confirm its findings. This means it's just Corning's word for now, as the company ran tests on its own in its lab. An independent tester may or may not confirm its findings, but Corning is confident that its Gorilla Glass protection will continue to stay relevant.
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