Foldable smartphones which were once a concept are now seeing the light of the day and recently organised Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 made it obvious that smartphone manufacturers are now vigorously working towards such bendable devices. Samsung launched its first foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold at the MWC 2019 and Huawei did the flexing with its Mate X.
However, if you use smartphone you probably must have heard of Corning Gorilla Glass – a chemically strengthend glass used to protect the smartphone screen from unwanted scratches and accidental falls.
While Gorilla Glass has gradually evolved since it was used on the original iPhone, OEMs are currently using plastic screens in the new foldable devices. However, the American glass manufacturer has now announced that Corning is experimenting on a Gorilla Glass that can bend to be used in upcoming foldable smartphones.
The downside with foldable devices using plastic screens is that they aren’t tough and unprotected from falls.
According to John Bayne, Head of Corning Glass division, glass can be made to fold but not in ways that we’ve seen in current products. The company is working to manufacture bendable Gorilla Glass to meet the OEMs demands.
‘The technical challenge is to keep those tight 3-5-millimeter bend radii and also at the same time to increase the damage resistance of the glass. That's the trajectory we're on,’ Bayne said.
While Bayne did not reveal any exact timeline as to when a product will launch with a bendable Corning Glass, but, the company will be ready by the time foldable smartphones go mainstream.
Currently, foldable smartphones are expensive and use plastic polymer screens.