Sapphire glass and Gorilla Glass are two extremely effective screen-protection options available in the market today. This Techspirited article brings you the showdown of these two glasses, Sapphire Glass Vs. Gorilla Glass.
Comparing Sapphires and Gorillas!
According to popular tech site, ExtremeTech, a smartphone-sized sheet of sapphire glass would cost about USD 30. A Gorilla Glass sheet of the same size costs about USD 3.
Corning is the company responsible for making the much-feared beast of the jungle―the gorilla―a much-loved household name. Nope, the company hasn’t taken up the conservation of the animal, nor have they launched a campaign to bring the gorilla to your home! Corning are the makers of Gorilla Glass, the same ultra-strong glass that adorns the display of most of our high-end gadgets. The company has a monopoly when it comes to screen protection solutions for smartphones, and has been virtually unchallenged throughout its reign. Well, a new company on the block, GT Advanced Technologies, has ruffled quite a few feathers in the Corning camp with its latest sapphire glass offering. The company grabbed headlines after it forged an alliance with one of America’s most trusted brands, Apple.
According to documents released by popular tech site 9to5mac, the Cupertino-based company has struck a USD 578 million deal with the sapphire glass manufacturer to open and operate a manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona. So, are we gonna see a new trend in the mobile industry with smartphones opting for sapphire over gorilla? The current market leader hasn’t launched a ‘Save the Gorilla’ campaign just yet. In fact, Corning is confident about Gorilla thumping its chest after trampling over sapphire! Both the screen solutions have their advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a look at the hits and misses of sapphire glass and those of Gorilla Glass.
Sapphire Glass Vs. Gorilla Glass
What is sapphire glass?
The term sapphire glass can be quite a misnomer. It is in fact a transparent crystal of sapphire. The manufacturing of sapphire glass involves dipping a small piece of sapphire called a seed crystal into a vat containing molten alumina (Al203). The seed crystal is then slowly taken out, forming long carrot-shaped crystals (boules). These are then sliced into thin sheets which are further cut and polished according to need. Sapphire glass is believed to be one of the most scratch-resistant materials in the world, scoring 9, just behind a diamond, which scores a perfect 10, on the Mohs scale. It has a very high melting temperature and high thermal conductivity.
Where is sapphire glass used?
Sapphire glass is extremely expensive to manufacture, and it is currently used in high-end items like expensive watches, arc lamps, laser tubes, military equipment like shatterproof windows, protection for smartphone cameras (iPhone 5s, LG G2), etc. Sapphire glass is usually used to cover small surfaces which require extremely high levels of transparency and scratch resistance.
Sapphire Glass over Gorilla Glass
- Highly transparent
- Extremely tough and scratch resistant
- Highly resistant to abrasion
- Does not deform easily due to heat
- Diffuses heat quickly
What is Gorilla Glass?
Developed by glass and ceramic makers, Corning Inc., Gorilla Glass is, in fact, the rebirth of the company’s old glass innovation, Chemcor. Gorilla Glass is a lot stronger and lighter than the Chemcor. It is produced by placing aluminosilicate glass in a molten potassium salt bath at 752°F (400°C). At such high temperatures, it undergoes an ionization process, wherein large potassium ions replace the sodium ions in the glass. This, in turn, lends tremendous strength and scratch resistance to the highly compressed glass. It rose to fame when it featured on the legendary iPhone, and has since become one of the most-preferred screens for smartphones.
Where is Gorilla Glass used?
Gorilla Glass is what protects the displays of most smartphones in the market today. It also finds its way onto tablet screens, laptops, TV screens, and other displays.
Gorilla Glass over Sapphire Glass
- Inexpensive to produce
- Can be made really thin
- Is a lot lighter (67% lighter than sapphire glass)
- Easy to be mass produced
- Is rather flexible
As things stand at the moment, sapphire glass is just not feasible enough to be considered by smartphone manufacturers. But all that could change with Apple, which has over the years become quite the trendsetter, taking keen interest in this glass. Speculations are rife about this glass featuring on an ‘i’ product soon. For now though, Gorilla Glass surely has the upper hand. To sum it up, we would like to use an analogy from the world of comics to explain the current status of the Gorilla Glass Vs. sapphire glass war―if Gorilla Glass is the Superman of the glass world, sapphire glass is its plumpier version who has kryptonite for lunch! Cheers.