The Real Reason Apple Didn’t Use Gorilla Glass 5 or 6 on the 2018 iPhone XS and XS Max

Apple has been using Corning’s Gorilla Glass on its smartphones since the iPhone 3GS, so it was a surprise when it didn’t use Gorilla Glass 5 or 6 on the new iPhone XS and XS Max. The big question is why? The primary reason could be to save on production costs. But is this the truth? Let’s look at what made Apple switch from Corning’s Gorilla Glass to its own Ion-X glass on its most recent devices and why Apple may have decided not to use either of these new glass versions in its latest phones.

What Is a Corning Gorilla Glass?

Corning Gorilla Glass is a type of toughened glass that can be used in electronic products such as smartphones, watches, and TVs. The glass is made from three materials: strontium titanate, potassium niobate, and sodium zirconium titanate.

This glass creates a firm surface that can withstand anything up to 1500 pounds per square inch. It also has excellent resistance to abrasion and damage, making it one of the most rigid glasses. For this reason, this product is used in smartphones like the iPhone 8+, Galaxy S9+, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG G7 ThinQ, Moto Z3 Play, and more.

What Is a Corning Gorilla Glass?

However, despite its strengths with durability, protection against impact (particularly drops), resistance to scratches/abrasions, and shatter resistance when dropped at certain angles-Apple did not use this product for their new 2018 iPhones! What’s wrong with using Gorilla Glass?

Reasons Why Apple Didn’t Use Corning Gorilla Glass on iPhones XS and XS Max

Most modern-day smartphones use Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, so why didn’t Apple use it?

  • They are just making more money by using their proprietary coating instead of paying for someone else’s. This is a risk that many smartphone makers take when developing a new phone, but usually, it doesn’t end up being such a high-cost gamble.
  • Another possible reason could be that it’s more expensive to do so. The company might have decided to keep the price down on this new generation of iPhones and use the slightly more brittle Ion-X glass instead of more expensive (but stronger) Gorilla Glass to save costs.
  • Another reason for not using Gorilla Glass 5 or 6 could be because Apple isn’t keen on supporting an Android developer with its investment in Corning.

What will happen to the price of this glass if Apple continues to switch between materials every year? Will they ever go back to Gorilla Glass? Who knows! But maybe we’ll see some partnership happen soon enough, right? As you have seen, there are enough reasons Apple decided not to use Gorilla Glass on the 2018 XS and XS Max.

What Glass Does Apple Use on iPhones XS and XS Max?

Apple chose a different glass for their newest smartphones because it doesn’t break. The glass they are using is not explicitly named, but it is called Ion-X glass, and you could compare it to what was used in previous phones from Apple.

This glass model is more like Pyrex, whose primary job is to resist scratching instead of breaking. If your phone has been in a scenario where dropping it onto a hard surface would result in shattering of the display, this type of glass will be able to protect your device as opposed to if you were using Gorilla Glass.

One thing that many people complain about with Gorilla Glass is how easily it can get scratched and how much of an eyesore those scratches can make the screen. With this new type of glass, you don’t have to worry about those things happening.

What Glass Does Apple Use on iPhones XS and XS Max?

Comparing Apple’s Ion-X Glass with Corning Gorilla Glass

Apple uses Corning’s ion-X glass on the new iPhone models instead of the recently announced Gorilla Glass 5 or 6. Unlike Gorilla products, Ion-X glass is just as durable without compromising touch sensitivity. Plus, it’s thinner too.

Ion-X glass is designed to be less prone to scratches than gorilla glass. This is because ions from a material (often sodium) are put into an alkaline solution and form a layer that can protect an object like your phone from light impacts, scratches, and corrosion for much longer than other materials.

The Pros of Using Ion-X Glass on iPhones XS and XS Max

  • In addition to being thinner, lighter, stronger, and more durable than Corning’s other glass options, Ion-X glass also has a self-healing property. If it were scratched, some molecules would reattach themselves to become whole again.
  • By using Ion-X glass instead of one of the new types of Corning glass, people can enjoy their iPhone for longer before needing to replace it with an entirely new one because they have spent money repairing it due to cracks in the screen.
  • These iPhones are less expensive than models with a new type of Corning glass: The first-generation iPhones used ion-strengthened glass, which did not have any form of protection against drops, scratches, or dust and dirt buildup inside the device like all modern smartphones do today. However, Ion-X glass is tough enough to withstand high-impact drops while maintaining its self-healing properties. It saves consumers money by not buying replacement screens as often as Gorilla Glass 5 or 6 installed on their phones.

The Cons of Using Ion-X Glass on iPhones XS and XS Max

While Ion-X glass has its benefits, it also has a few negatives.

  • Ion-X glass is made up of two layers of glass instead of one, which can lead to issues with sensitivity.
  • Another problem is durability since ion-x glasses are less durable than other options like gorilla glass. This means that your device will be more likely to break in a short amount of time if you don’t protect it with a case.
  • Finally, visibility issues have been reported because Ion-X glasses are more reflective than other choices, such as gorilla glass. They have been described as hazy when looking at an app that flashes colors quickly from different angles.
The Cons of Using Ion-X Glass on iPhones XS and XS Max

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Gorilla Glass?

Most people know that Corning manufactures gorilla glass but aren’t familiar with who owns Corning. Since the first iPhone in 2007, Corning has been licensing their gorilla glass to Apple as a business decision.

However, this deal has ended, and Corning can now manufacture its own devices outside of just licensing its intellectual property. We may start seeing more new smartphones using Gorilla Glass from now onwards.

Does Apple make the Ion-X Glass?

Ion-X is a glass manufacturer that GT Advanced Technologies acquired in 2013. In turn, GTAT was acquired by Apple in 2014, making Ion-X effectively an in-house subsidiary of Apple.

GT Advanced Technologies is responsible for producing Apple’s Ion-X displays for their iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.

Conclusion

There is no apparent reason Apple didn’t use Gorilla Glass 5 or 6 on their new phones, but it could be to save money. They likely would have been able to get a much lower price for that glass model by sourcing from another supplier, which would increase profit margins. This isn’t the first instance they have done this either. Previous iterations had tempered glass with an oleophobic coating instead of a pure-oleophobic coating, which also cut costs.

References:

https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/iphone-xs-what-apple-didnt-give-us/

https://9to5mac.com/2018/09/24/iphone-xs-drop-tests/

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