Ceramic Shield is a marketing name for a Glass-ceramic material developed by Corning in collaboration with Apple Inc. It was announced in October 2020 as the surface material of the iPhone 12 series and is believed to have been developed in response to Gorilla Glass Victus used by high-end Samsung phones.
After Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone in January 2007, he complained to VP of operations Jeff Williams about the scratches that had already developed on the plastic screen of the prototype and said, "We need glass." Two days later, Corning CEO Wendell Weeks contacted Williams to tell him: "Hey, your boss called and said my glass sucks." Apple and Corning then scrambled to develop a manufacturing process for a new type of chemically strengthened glass that Corning had been researching. By late June, the iPhones began shipping with the glass screens which later became known as Gorilla Glass.
With entry-level Apple Watch Sport models released in April 2015, Apple used potassium-reinforced Ion-X glass, which is lighter, cheaper, and less scratch resistant than sapphire, but more flexible and resistant to breakage.
According to Corning, Ceramic Shield consists of colorless ceramic nano crystals embedded in the glass matrix. It is used on iPhone 12 models introduced in October 2020 and is advertised to have 4 times improved drop performance over previous screens. It is believed to be stronger than Gorilla Glass Victus, which is reinforced with aluminum silicate.
- iPhone 12's display is protected by 'ceramic shield' glass by Sean Keane, CNET. 2020-10-13.
- What happened to the original iPhone’s plastic screen? by Thomas Ricker, The Verge. 2019-07-09.
- Ion X Glass vs Sapphire – Which one is the better display glass?, Glaz. 2016-11-01.
- iPhone 12 Comes with Ceramic Shield Cover Glass, Offers 4x Better Drop Performance by Asif Shaik, iPhone Hacks. 2020-10-13.
- Apple Launches iPhone 12 with Some Surprises by Ross Young, Display Supply Chain. 2020-10-16.