We find Gorilla Glass on many of today’s mobile devices.
Corning invented Gorilla Glass long back in 1952. However, the company failed to locate a viable application of it. American Motors tried using it for its windshield. However, the crash tests found that “head deceleration was significantly higher” on the windshields—on the impact the Gorilla Glass would remain intact, but human skulls would not.” So it could not be used in windshields.
Consequently, Gorilla Glass was put onto a shelf until a more practical application could be found.
For iPhone 1 Apple was looking for a glass screen that would resist scratches and breakage. When Steve Jobs called Corning’s CEO, Wendell WeeksSteve asking for such a glass he was pleasantly shocked that such glass had been discovered long back. In six months, Gorilla Glass was back in production.
Prior to the iPhone, plastic screens were standard fare on smartphones. The iPhone delivered a whole new design metaphor, introducing a glass touchscreen as the main user interface. That, perhaps more than anything else, opened the door for the device to be used like a computer that fits in your pocket. The Gorilla Glass defined the feel of the user’s finger moving around on the touchscreen. For many, it was that tactile experience, combined with the rapid and smooth response of the software, that was the iPhone’s magic.
After Gorilla Glass was used in the iPhone, other smartphone makers quickly followed suit in switching from plastic to glass to cover the front of their devices. Corning says that since 2007 it’s delivered 58 square miles of Gorilla Glass–the equivalent of 28,000 football fields.