Glassmaker Corning who supplies to Apple and Samsung, has developed a new glass which is scratch-resistant like sapphire glass and tough like Gorilla Glass.

On Friday, Feb. 7, Corning took the wraps off its Project Phire, which is a glass-like composite at an investor meeting in New York. Corning claims that not only is Project Phire drop resistant, as well as durable like Gorilla Glass 4 but it is also scratch-resistant like sapphire.

Corning's Project Phire announcement comes close on the heels of Gorilla Glass 4, which was introduced three months earlier and is capable of surviving falls on a rough surface in nearly 80 percent instances.

"We told you last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn't fare well when dropped," said James Clappin, Corning executive. "So, we created a product that offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance that approaches sapphire."

Clappin revealed that Corning Incorporated intends to begin retailing the material by end 2015. He, however, did not reveal other details pertaining to Project Phire.

With the scratch-resistant sapphire glass being available, experts have asked for the material to replace the current glasses on smartphones screens. In late 2013, Apple and GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) - who makes sapphire equipment - struck a deal for $578 million, hinting that Apple would take on board other manufacturers for its iPhone other than Corning. However, this deal went kaput.

While the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 did not come with the much-anticipated sapphire-layered screens, the Apple Watch will use the scratch-resistant material on some of the models. The iPhones, on the other hand, are content with sapphire covering on the camera lens and the Touch ID sensor.

However, while sapphire may be durable and scratch-resistant, it is brittle at the same time and shatters quite easily. Moreover, the material is quite tough to work with per Hutch Hutchison Vertu's executive. The material is not only tough to grind, cut and polish, but is also expensive and consumes a lot of energy to produce.

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