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Corning unveils Gorilla Glass 5, evolutionary successor for iPhone screens

A new version of the Corning Gorilla Glass used in iPhone screens since launch promises better impact resistance for equipped devices, with the improved glass panels surviving falls from greater heights than previous versions.

The new cover glass has been formulated to provide enhanced protection against breakage from everyday drops. To better test the improvements on the new glass, Corning altered its evaluation process to better reflect actual use cases and drop conditions.

According to Corning, the new product survives up to 80 percent of the time when dropped face-down from a height of 1.6 meters (five feet, three inches) onto rough surfaces, as opposed to the smoother surfaces that previous testing was performed on. Previous drop testing was performed from one meter.

Gorilla Glass 5 is currently available for manufacturers and designers. Corning expects appearances of Gorilla Glass 5 on consumer electronics later this year.

Gorilla Glass 4 was revealed in November 2014, and emphasized sharp-corner breakage resistance. Apple only very rarely discloses component suppliers, but it is known the company has been using Corning's Gorilla Glass in all iPhone models since the launch of the product.

Corning executives claim that the sapphire glass used in the Apple Watch, some iPhone camera lenses, and the Touch ID sensor, is 1.6 times heavier, transmits less light, and is ten times more expensive than its own Gorilla Glass.