New iPhone 17 Screen Could Resist More Scratches and Cut More Glare

iPhone 16 Ultra Concept 4RMD 7 Credit: 4RMD
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While we’re still a good six months away from the release of the iPhone 16 lineup, Apple is already making strides in developing innovative features and technologies for next year’s iPhone 17. One of the most intriguing is the possible use of a more robust glass material that could be a potential game-changer.

A recent Weibo post by leader Instant Digital claims the outer glass of the iPhone 17 will be significantly more scratch-resistant and less reflective. Apple is said to have already developed the new coating and recently handed it over to its supply chain, but it won’t be ready for this year’s iPhone models.

Four years ago, Apple introduced a new Ceramic Shield glass with the iPhone 12 to replace the more common Gorilla Glass that had been used on previous iPhone models.

However, Ceramic Shield didn’t kick Gorilla Glass-maker Corning out of the tent. Instead, Apple worked with Corning to develop a more exclusive glass-ceramic material that it undoubtedly hoped would set it apart from the rest of the smartphone pack — and likely make comparisons as hard as the material itself.

Ceramic Shield promised four times the drop performance of the glass used on the iPhone 11. Apple never said much about what formulation of Gorilla Glass that was, but Corning has naturally moved on since then anyway. Around the same time the iPhone 12 debuted, Corning began equipping high-end Android phones with Gorilla Glass Victus. That was superseded by Gorilla Glass Victus 2 in 2022, and this year’s Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra now features the company’s latest bleeding-edge Gorilla Armor.

Meanwhile, Ceramic Shield hasn’t had any notable improvements since it was introduced four years ago — Apple certainly would have praised the increased durability if there had been any changes — and it’s almost certainly been left behind by Corning’s latest Gorilla Armor, which many reviewers have lauded as the most significant upgrade to smartphone glass in a long time.

That’s not only in durability but also in cutting down reflections. Gorilla Armor claims to not only survive harder impacts but also be significantly more resistant to micro scratches. Perhaps more significantly, it also reduces glare by up to 75 percent compared to traditional glass surfaces.

From the information shared on Weibo, Apple’s new glass sounds very similar to Gorilla Armor. However, that’s not surprising considering that Apple will likely still partner with Corning to develop its next-gen Ceramic Shield. It’s doubtful Apple will return to using the Gorilla brand, but “Ceramic Shield 2.0” will undoubtedly adopt some of the same features.

Unfortunately, if what Instant Digital has to say is true, the increased hardness and anti-reflective coating could come with the downside of making the screens less resistant to fingerprints and smudges, at least over time. However, it could be good enough to eliminate the need for a screen protector on your iPhone 17.

While this report seems likely on the surface, like all rumors it should be taken with a grain of salt. Instant Digital has a mixed track record for accuracy, and while it’s not a stretch to believe Apple is working on improving its glass in light of Samsung’s massive leap ahead, it’s too early to be sure of any specific details of what that might look like.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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