Corning believes that modern smartphone designs use glass for more than 85 percent of the enclosure. Corilla Glass 6 has been formulated to deliver "unprecedented protection against multiple drops", an all-too-common accident faced by smart device owners, often needing pricy repairs. "Nobody's broken more phones or glass than Corning", said John Bayne, Gorilla Glass's general manager. This new design change has been put in place to counteract the extreme likelihood that a smartphone will be dropped on multiple occasions.
The new glass composition has been chemically strengthened to offer "higher levels of compression" than what was possible with the previous iteration of the product. An increase in this phenomenon would eventually lead to a faster and more robust adoption of Gorilla Glass which is already present in 6 billion devices. This new Gorilla Glass 6 is made from an "entirely new material" that can withstand multiple drops. Comparative figures for Gorilla Glass 5 & 6 do not seem to be available yet. Corning Inc. studied the pattern of potentially damaging drops, which have risen exponentially. The investment will support Corning's R&D, capital equipment needs and state-of-the-art glass processing.
The company also cited a report from survey maker Toluna claiming the average person drops their phone 7 times a year. Described as Corning's most durable cover glass to date, it was designed specifically to protect against multiple drops.
Apple has famously moved to what is almost an all-glass design with hardware like iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. Corning hopes its new Gorilla Glass 6 will keep it on the check list of desirable specs for smart devices. The company has also worked to make its glass more flexible, which makes it less prone to shattering, and thinner so manufacturers can reduce the weight of their products. However, it might be "several months" until it is first seen on shipping devices.