Corning details the challenges in bringing Gorilla Glass for foldables to the market
Flexible or foldable phones may be here as early as next year. Despite the rumors of their potential high prices and low availability, they may still command an appreciable popularity through their novelty over conventional flat-screen phones. However, it seems that the known and purported makers of these phones, which include Samsung, LG and OPPO, may not have access to a form of Gorilla Glass for their next-level devices.
Gorilla Glass (GG) has become all but synonymous with smartphone display protection, and is promoted with improved shatter-resistance or similar attributes with each new generation. Its makers, Corning, have not said for sure that they have a version of GG for flexible devices to date. However, they had recently invited a team from CNET into their development facility for this purpose, which may at least give some assurance that they are working on it.
This report indicated that GG for foldables is not yet entirely complete, as it needs to be even thinner and more pliable than the Willow concept glass they had developed some years previously. In addition, foldables demand a narrower radius of curvature compared to anything required of Corning before. To this end, Samsung is said to be resorting to a clear polymer top layer for their first generation of what is currently being called the Galaxy Flex line.
However, Corning asserts that glass will be a superior option for this component, as it will not discolor, scratch or fail in the way plastic might. The CNET correspondent was allowed to handle the company's latest flexible prototype, and was amazed at how light, thin and, of course, bendy it is. Therefore, future generations of foldables may be able to associate themselves with the Corning name as in the past.