Corning, which makes the glass on the front of iPhones and many other smartphone brands, announced its hardest glass to date today, Gorilla Glass 5, saying it’s twice as drop resistant as Gorilla Glass 4.
There was a lot of talk from the Corning people about the durability of the new glass at a press event in Palo Alto today. Drop test demonstrations were given. Competing glass products were mercilessly shattered in the company’s labs. But one concept that wasn’t mentioned all day was if or how well the new glass resists fingerprints.
When I finally asked the question during the Q&A at the end of the 3-hour event, Corning executives were blunt. The company is still working on glass that resists finger oil and dirt, but that sort of screen treatment creates a textured surface that can interfere with the clear transmission of light through the screen, they said.
So it seems clear that for the time being Corning and its OEM customers have made a choice that brilliant display images are more important than fingerprint-free screens. An apparently you can’t have both. Not yet. Blame science.