If you have ever taken a look at specifications of a touchscreen smartphone, you must have surely come across something called “Gorilla Glass”. Gorilla Glass is basically a trademark for alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass manufactured by an U.S. glassmaker Corning. Corning Incorporated is an American company and apart from making Gorilla Glass, it also produces glass, ceramics, and related materials, primarily for industrial and scientific applications. Anyways, it’s widely known for Gorilla Glass now. The technology or the product got breakthrough when it was incorporated in the first iPhone that was launched back in 2007.
According to the book “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson “friend John Seeley Brown, who was on the board of Corning Glass in Upstate New York, told him that he should talk to that company’s young and dynamic CEO, Wendell Weeks. Corning’s facility in Harrisburg, Kentucky, which had been making LCD displays, was converted almost overnight to make gorilla glass full-time. “We put our best scientists and engineers on it, and we just made it work.” In his airy office, Weeks has just one framed memento on display. It’s a message Jobs sent the day the iPhone came out: “We couldn’t have done it without you.”
Gorilla Glass is kind of responsible for Apple’s success because iPhone was marketed as that one smartphone which can survive in a pocket with set of keys and yet still come out with no scratches on the screen, and Gorilla Glass does a good job delivering that feature. The glass is engineered in such a way that it is thin, light, and yet has a very good damage-resistance capability. We can say that Apple gave the technology an exposure which it always deserved, and look at what has happened to the product now. Gorilla Glass can be found virtually everywhere. The glass is used by companies like Acer, Asus Nokia, Dell, HP, HTC, LG, Lenovo, Sony and tons more.
Due to the ever expanding market for touchscreen based smartphones, Corning has experienced a substantial amount of growth. According to the latest official words from the company, the Gorilla Glass is now being used on more than a billion devices. In the last quarter, Q3 2012, Gorilla Glass brought the company $363 million, which is a 21% over the same period last year. As I said before, Gorilla Glass is one of the products from the company and total sales have dropped on a year-on-year basis as its telecoms and environmental units weakened.
Corning is always busy with R&D and it recently announced the successor of Gorilla Glass, the Gorilla Glass 2. According to the firm, Gorilla Glass 2 is as tough as the predecessor, but is 20 percent thinner. This new product enables device manufacturers to create better, slimmer and sleeker devices with brighter images and improved touch sensitivity. If you were wondering the manufacturing process behind Gorilla Glass, Corning uses the Ion exchange process to manufacture this product. In this process, large ions are actually stuffed on the glass surface so that there is a compression effect on the surface.