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What if the iPhone 8’s screen is even more durable than Gorilla Glass 5?

Published Aug 1st, 2016 3:45PM EDT

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A few days ago, Corning announced its next-gen Gorilla Glass 5 screen that will protect the displays of some of the top Android flagships coming over the next year. The Galaxy Note 5 and iPhone 7 might be two of the first devices to get the ultra-durable glass cover. But what if the iPhone of the future came with a display cover made of artificial diamond that was even stronger than Gorilla Glass?

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Damaging the screen due to accidental drops is one of the most annoying things that can happen to a smartphone. Hopefully, Gorilla Glass 5 (pictured above) will help prevent cracking even more effectively than the previous generation glass. But Corning isn’t the only company working on such technology.

AKHAN Semiconductor is a name you should remember. According to Mashable, the company figured how to create diamond-reinforced glass, with help of synthetic diamonds. AKHAN managed to apply a “nanometers-thin film of synthetic diamond,” or AKHAN Miraj NCD diamond, onto a standard UV glass. The resulting material is said to be “considerably stronger” than Gorilla Glass 5.

Without Steve Jobs’s insistence, the original iPhone may not have featured an all-glass display to begin with, and Corning wouldn’t have been pushed to came up with a feasible product in time for launch. Apple is at the forefront of the market, especially when it comes to product quality, so it would make sense for the company to be interesting in this new technology.

Time will tell if next year’s iPhone will dump Corning for this new breakthrough tech. After all, not so long ago, Apple wanted to protect the iPhone with sapphire glass.

AKHAN Miraj NCD diamond-covered glass is 800 times thinner than Gorilla Glass 5, and it may be stronger than sapphire. Even more impressive is the fact that diamond glass is cheaper to mass-produce than sapphire, and can be manufactured a lot faster. Other properties of this new material include flexibility (up to 45-degrees), which would play out well with Apple’s supposed plans of making an iPhone with a wraparound display. Furthermore, the diamond-coated display has a low thermal conductivity, which means displays could be kept even cooler.

AKHAN will be able to produce diamond glass at scale within a year, but the company could partner up with Corning for a licensing deal. The demo units AKHAN built used Corning glass as a substrate.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.