Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass, officially announced the fifth iteration of their durable glass today, called, as you may expect, Gorilla Glass 5. Gorilla Glass is commonly used in smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices and is a popular choice due to its ability to stand up to shattering and scratches. It has been used in smartphones and other electronics since 2007, and with each generation of Gorilla Glass comes improvements, typically relating to the thickness, strength, and durability of the glass.
According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 5 will increase the durability of the glass when being dropped from a height that ranges between waist height and shoulder height, and particularly when being dropped onto "rough, unforgiving surfaces", by up to four times the protection current glass offers. Unlike its predecessor, Gorilla Glass 4, which consistently survives drops from up to a meter high, 0.6 mm Gorilla Glass 5 will survive drops from 1.6 meters high with an 80 percent success rate. This improvement may not seem drastic; however, it does stand to greatly reduce the number of damaged displays based on the methods in which damage usually occurs. In terms of one of the most common products to use Gorilla Glass, smartphones, Corning draws on a study from Toluna's Quicksurvey which found that 85-percent of all owners admitted to dropping their phones at least once per year (with 55 percent of them reporting having dropped their device three times or more). Of this 85 percent, 60 percent of those customers have dropped their phones from within the range of waist to shoulder height. Considering that this is the most likely height from which a smartphone will be dropped, strengthening performance in that area should have a big impact on reducing the number of cracked smartphone displays.
Corning has been making a wide variety of glass products for a long time now, but only started working on applications for technology devices around a decade ago. This was a natural move for them, as the smartphone industry generates a tremendous amount of money each year. Corning Gorilla Glass has been included in over 4.5 billion devices that have been sold, which includes more than 1,800 models, and this number will likely increase soon enough and as Gorilla Glass 5 will likely be the obvious choice for many high-end flagship smartphone manufacturers going forward.