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Klutzes rejoice: Gorilla Glass 3 promises durable smartphones

Corning is announcing an updated version of the glass used on many smartphones

The smartphones of tomorrow will be more forgiving toward the clumsier users among us, with the promise of much better durability in Corning's Gorilla Glass 3.

Gorilla Glass, which Corning says is used on more than 1 billion smartphones worldwide, will reportedly get triple the scratch resistance in its third iteration. The new technology should reduce the number of visible scratches by 40 percent, according to Engadget. Should the glass become visibly scratched, it'll retain 50 percent more of its strength than previous versions.

Sturdier and skinnier

Those are big gains over Gorilla Glass 2, which sported a mere 20 percent durability boost over the original version. And that didn't even necessarily translate to stronger products, because phone makers had the option to make their glass thinner at the original level of durability, rather than having thicker and stronger displays.

Corning chalks up the added strength in Gorilla Glass 3 to a proprietary technology called Native Damage Resistance, which helps prevent scratches from becoming visible.

So far, there's no word on when Gorilla Glass 3 will appear in future smartphones, tablets, and PCs, but the previous version, which was announced a year ago, made its way into tech products about four to five months later.

Corning says it will show off Gorilla Glass 3 at the Consumer Electronics Show, likely with carefully-planned impact tests that have no chance of actually damaging the material.

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