Corning, the maker of Gorilla series of tough, durable glasses has said they are working on a flexible glass design capable of bending at a tight radius. The company said they already have a prototype ready and hope to come up with the first commercial version of a bendable glass by 2020 itself.
Corning further stated they are envisioning a glass layer that would be thin enough to allow for tights bends to be performed hundreds and thousands of times without causing any significant damage to the display. Further adding to the challenge would be to retain the strength and durability its standard glass displays are capable of.
Corning general manager John Bayne added they are looking to have a glass that is just 0.1 mm thick while allowing for a bend radii of 3 – 5 mm. This way, Bayne hopes the phone will have a thickness of around 6 mm to 10 mm with the display folding from the outside.
Worth mentioning, Apple has a stake in Corning when the former made an investment to the tune of $200 million back in 2017. The iPhone maker had then stated the money is for supporting Corning’s R&D efforts, meeting its ‘capital equipment needs’ along with its ‘state-of-the-art glass processing’ facilities. Apple too is believed to be working on a bendable iPhone version as can be made out from the various patents it has filed in the recent past, with a launch expected sometime around 2020.
Meanwhile, the bendable phone race has already started and the devices at the forefront at the moment happen to be the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X. Both are however vastly differing devices, with the Galaxy Fold incorporating a design that folds on the inside, comes with twin displays and has as many as six cameras. The phone also looks a bit chubby, so much that it might seem to be a prototype at best.
The Mate X, however, has the more refined looks of the two and has an outside bendable display. Its thinner too and comes with a triple camera system. Both the phones are expensive and employ some cool software improvisations to make the most of the expanded screen real estate. Also, both phones employ a plastic display though Apple could change all that by coming up with its own take on a foldable iPhone boasting of the bendable glass display.