Corning’s Gorilla Glass has long been used in smartphones made by Apple and Samsung but, as many will attest, the hardened glass is often not rugged enough for the rough and tumble abuse of some users. Apple was rumored to be considering the use of sapphire glass for their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, triggered by its investment in sapphire manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies, and currently uses the shatter- and scratch-resistant material in their iDevice camera lenses and touchID buttons. However speculation was abandon when the two companies parted ways and the Arizona company filed for bankruptcy. (In early February 2015 Bloomberg reported that Apple is now converting the facility into a data center.)
Corning, seeing the impact of losing their largest and most visible customer to another material after Gorilla Glass proved to scratch more easily than first suspected, began to secretly work on an new material for covering the displays of todays smartphone. Codenamed Project Phire, the material is claimed to be both highly damage-resistant and scratch-resistant. With this new material in play, Corning stands a chance to fend off any future competitors from replacing its material in both smartphones as well as the quickly emerging smart watch market.