We just met with Corning during CES in Las Vegas to check out its new Gorilla Glass 2 panels for smartphones and tablets. The new glass is 20% thinner than before, but just as strong and scratch resistant as the original Gorilla Glass. The thinner build will surely help manufacturers make smaller and lighter smartphones. We stayed to watch a pressure test, images of which are in the gallery below, and were impressed with the strength of the glass. Corning said that it’s already shipping the new panels to phone manufacturers and that we will see smartphones on the market soon with the new glass. We were also told that Gorilla Glass 2 will be used in new Windows-powered computers later this year. Be sure to check out our gallery below.
We’ve seen about a hundred different interpretations of what Apple’s iPhone 5 might look like at this point, and we probably all agree that October 4th can’t come soon enough; regardless of what Apple unveils next month, it will finally put an end to the rumors and speculation. Apple’s next-generation iPhone might be an incremental update, a major upgrade or even both, and while current signs are pointing to the optimal scenario — a revamped low-end iPhone 4 and an all-new redesigned iPhone 5 — we won’t know for sure until shortly after 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on the 4th. In the meantime, however, we can dream. Ben Miller of German mobile site BenM.at has gathered all of the case leaks, rumored specs and mock-ups that have trickled out over the past few months, and actually built a physical best-guess iPhone 5 out of glass and aluminum. The result… is gorgeous. Miller’s design definitely resembles the Case-Mate renders we exclusively reported earlier this month, and if the real iPhone 5 looks anything like this, we can’t get our hands on it soon enough. More images of Miller’s mock-up follow below. More →
Apple and other manufacturers may introduce new products with curved touchscreen displays next year, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Apple has reportedly contacted its iPad and iPhone glass suppliers, Lens Technology, G-Tech and Fuji Crystal, and will supply them with equipment for polishing glass. Curved glass displays are not typically used on smartphones, although Google and Samsung did equip the Nexus S with a concave screen and it was noticeably more comfortable during phone calls. The curves also protect the screen from scratches when a phone or tablet placed face-down on a surface. Dell also went with a curved display on its Venue Pro Windows Phone, though it opted for a concave curvature. Corning, which provides scratch-resistant screens for a number of smartphones, has already developed a curved version of its popular Gorilla Glass, but it is unclear if that screen will be used on future Apple products. More →
The team over at iFixit spent the morning tearing down RIM’s brand new tablet for an in-depth look at the inner-workings of the BlackBerry PlayBook. There aren’t too many surprises, but the firm did discuss how difficult and costly it could be to replace broken parts. If you aren’t using a case for your PlayBook just yet, here’s one reason you might want to start:
“The front camera, rear camera, and top control buttons are all attached as one assembly, making the replacement of a broken power button or volume buttons very costly.”
iFixit also said that RIM chose to build a magnesium frame around the glass LCD display, which should give it some extra durability. If you do end up shattering that 7-inch front panel, it’s not the end of the world. The LCD isn’t fused to the glass, which means a replacement should be fairly easy on you, and your wallet. Hit the jump to see iFixit’s full gallery. More →
According to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, a man whose been known as a Nokia seer of sorts over the years, Nokia will make its Windows Phone debut with two new devices, the W7 and the W8. Reportedly, the W7 is being used inside Nokia as a test device and will hit the market first. Rumor has it the W7 will have a hardware design that’s relatively similar to the Nokia X7 that was announced earlier this week. We’d be pumped about that, given that the X7 sports a 4-inch AMOLED screen and is made of stainless steel and glass. Nokia’s second Windows Phone device could be the W8, which Murtazin says will resemble the Nokia N8 — another device with a top notch industrial design. While we’ve heard that Nokia’s first Windows Phone will land in 2012, the wait should be worth it — Murtazin claims that the Finnish phone maker already has a dozen Windows Phones slated to launch next year. More →
When Apple first unveiled its iPhone 4 smartphone last summer, most media and bloggers were in agreement that the new glass construction was stunning. They also agreed, however, that the iPhone 4 would likely be more prone to significant damage than other smartphones due to the fragile nature of glass compared to plastic and metal. While we’ve heard our fair share of shattered iPhone stories, U.S. Air Force Combat Controller Ron Walker’s tale should help dispel the notion that the iPhone 4 is inherently fragile. While leaning out of an airplane looking for landmarks, Walker’s Velcro pocket flap popped open and his iPhone 4 plummeted to the earth below. At the time, the plane was traveling at 150 m.p.h at an altitude of roughly 1,000 feet. Once on the ground, Walker told a few friends what had happened, one of whom installed Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app on his own handset in an attempt to locate Walker’s lost phone. Unexpectedly, the app found Walker’s iPhone immediately and when the men drove to its location, they found the smartphone in perfect working condition without a scratch on it. Walker kept his iPhone in a standard Griffin case and it had no other casing or special protection at the time of its fall. More →
A device isn’t really released until the gang over at ifixit have torn it limb from limb, am I right? Today’s victim: the Motorola XOOM tablet. After several hours and 57 screws, the ifixit team have given the XOOM an 8 out of 10 rating on ease of repair (10 being the easiest). The site notes that the “LCD and front panel glass are not fused together” — making for easy glass-break repairs — and that “individual components are separately attached to the motherboard, allowing each component to be replaced on an individual basis.” Ifixit does caution that due to the fact that there are over fifty screws, repairs, while easy, do require quite a bit of labor. Hit the read link to have a look for yourself…and try not to drop your XOOM! More →
Following the Apple MacBook Pro leak saga? Rumors have been swirling practically every day about Apple’s latest MacBook Pro refresh, and a leaked photo from earlier today appears to confirm part of what we exclusively reported — that Apple’s new MacBook Pro’s will have larger all-glass multitouch trackpads. The same report also confirms the presence of a Thunderbolt port on the new MacBook Pro, which is Apple’s name for Intel’s Light Peak connection set to be unveiled tomorrow as well.
UPDATE: Upon closer inspection, it looks as though the MacBook Pro pictured above may have the same sized trackpad as the current 13-inch model, though it is possible that the new 13-inch model will retain the same sized trackpad while the 15 and/or 17-inch models may see a size increase. More →
According to an iLounge source, the upcoming fourth generation iPod touch will be changing shapes once again. If true, it is said to be more flat than curved, with a flat surface and curved edges; much like the top of your MacBook Pro. Additionally, the back is rumored to not be modeled after the iPhone 4′s all glass surface; so we’re guessing stainless steel or aluminum. There is that much-awaited rear camera, though what’s not clear at this point is a LED flash next to it or a second microphone for audio capture while shooting video. Lastly, that tiny, tiny Apple-branded touch screen display we saw? Well, according to iLounge, it is indeed a new iPod nano, and won’t have anything to do with an iPod shuffle. September 1st is close enough, friends. More →
While it seems Apple isn’t able to manufacture enough of the white iPhone 4 model, white iPhone 4 parts have started to become available. In fact, you’ll actually remember that there were white parts before the phone was even announced. Recently, however, the white iPhone 4 front and rear case pieces have been harder and harder to come by giving credibility that there actually is some sort of manufacturing problem Apple needs to overcome with the white variant. We hit up our friends at CNN.cn, and they have come through for us, but in our first go-around, we witnessed first hand one possible issue Apple might be facing with the front white display assembly. In our second go-around, we realized even more manufacturing/production problems.
After disassembling our black iPhone 4 oh-so-carefully, and then putting everything back together with the new white front LCD and powering it up, we noticed something… odd. The LCD itself looked fine (beautiful as ever) but the screen was kind of transparent. Not transparent like you could see the phone’s internal components through the display, but there wasn’t a proper backing it seemed. Yet when we disassembled the phone again to switch back to the black display, we compared both and they looked identical.
Round 2… After CNN.cn sent us another white LCD to try, we noticed a couple things. First off, those whispers of Apple not being happy with the exact color or tint of white are probably true. There’s a noticeable difference between the actual white glass LCD front and the white plastic home button. Second, the white LCD front display is a tad thicker (the glass it seems), and when the phone was assembled, this made the home button feel very out of place. It didn’t feel right because it was sunk in a little bit. Lastly, the proximity sensor didn’t work at all. We’ll be trying Round 3 pretty soon when our package from China arrives.
We’re not sure what’s going on with the white models, but once we have a fully working white unit, we’ll care a little less. Unfortunately I didn’t take photos of the fully assembled white unit, but will do so when it’s up and running.
Thanks to Richard Lai for the emotional support!