If a recent tweet from a typically reliable leaker of HTC product info is accurate, owners of HTC’s One (M9) are in for a rude awakening this week when they learn that their brand new premium handset might have come from a batch that was manufactured with a weaker version of Gorilla Glass. Twitter user @upleaks is claiming that some of them will arrive with Gorilla Glass 3 instead of the expected fourth generation of Corning’s wonderfully scratch-resistant material. Certainly, if the rumor is true, some M9 owners will go to wonder why they’ve been stiffed, and whether they were wise to embark with HTC’s pricey flagship amongst a sea of other worthy competitors.
Why so much fuss over this? Well for starters, Corning’s internal tests report Gorilla Glass 4 enjoys a 70% greater resistance to damage that results in deep scratches vs. the resistance of Gorilla Glass 3. This increase in relative strength results in thinner glass panels – and consequently thinner, lighter mobile devices – compared to previous generations. It also means less worrying about the potentially costly risk of accidentally dropping your phone and having to call in a claim. And if that happens of course, at this moment in time, you can’t expect HTC or your carrier to cut you any financial slack if your inferior quality screen gets scratched sooner than it may have been if your M9 had Gorilla Glass 4.
Naturally, some tough questions are being asked. With the One (M9) featuring a beautiful 1920×1080 pixel LCD panel and many more top-line specs that make it worthy to belong to the small group of 2015 high-end flagship smartphones, one must wonder why a component so critical as the display would not enjoy the same uniformly high level of quality in its production process. M8 owners who are nearing the end of their upgrade cycle might be wondering whether an upgrade to the M9 is even in order if they aren’t guaranteed to receive Gorilla Glass 4 with their device. Perhaps the purpose of the no-fault Uh-Oh Protection Plan is becoming more obvious now?
HTC has not yet commented about this report, but we’ll be looking for answers.