Corning introduced its Gorilla Glass 4 last year that brought improved scratch resistance and durability over the previous generation Gorilla Glass 3. For 2015, Corning is reportedly working on a tougher glass that will be able to offer scratch-resistance comparable to sapphire. The new glass will most likely be marketed as Gorilla Glass 5 but for now the company is referring to it as ‘Project Phire’
The company announced the Project Phire on Friday at an investor meeting held in New York. Corning executive James Clappin has confirmed that they will be selling the new scratch-resistant glass to manufacturers later this year. If we were to guess, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 could be one of the first devices to hit the market with the ‘Project Phire’ glass. Samsung is one of the biggest customers for Corning and the Galaxy Note 4 was one of the first smartphone to use Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 last year.
As Corning mentioned last year, it is not convinced with the durability of Sapphire Glass in comparison to its Gorilla Glass. It does however believe that Sapphire Glass offers superior scratch resistance. So for the Project Phire, Corning is aiming to maintain or improve the toughness of Gorilla Glass 4 while reaching the scratch-resistance offered by Sapphire Glass.
The development of Project Phire is likely to have been influenced by Apple’s keen interest in using Sapphire for protecting the displays on its iPhones. Last year, rumors claimed that the new iPhones will include Sapphire Glass protection on the front instead of Gorilla Glass. With the Project Phire, Corning may well be looking at convincing Apple to stick to Gorilla Glass for the iPhone 6s/7.
Corning also showed off its Iris glass at the meeting, the company’s protective glass offering for Televisions that lets manufacturers make TVs as thin as modern smartphones.