Asahi Glass unveils super-strong smartphone cover

On 20 January, Japan“s largest glassmaker, Asahi Glass Co., recently unveiled a super-tough, scratch resistant cover for gadgets, which, it says, is six times stronger than conventional glass. Called…

On 20 January, Japan“s largest glassmaker, Asahi Glass Co., recently unveiled a super-tough, scratch resistant cover for gadgets, which, it says, is six times stronger than conventional glass. Called Dragontrail“, the product represents Asahi“s intensified ambitions to enter the global market for smartphones and tablets, all devices that need a durable sheath to protect them during use. The product is already in some devices, but the company said it could not reveal details about customers or when it signed its first deal. Corning Inc., the manufacturer of Gorilla“ glass, is the biggest player in this market at the moment. Gorilla is presently used by more than 20 major brands in more than 200 million cell phones and mobile devices. Gorilla has been a huge success for Corning since it gained its first customer in 2008, and generated USD 80 million in revenue in 2009. The soaring demand could also lead sales to USD 1 billion this year as the glass begins to be used by high-end TVs. According to Asahi, Dragontrail matches the best products currently available and describes Dragontrail as a “superior substitute to conventional cover material”, and is multiple times stronger than soda-lime glass commonly used in windows, resisting scratches and has a “beautiful, pristine” finish. Asahi Glass hopes Dragontrail will generate global revenue of at least JPY 30 billion yen (USD 360 million) and about 30% market share next year. Company President and chief executive Kazuhiko Ishimura called the new glass a “very important global strategic product.” “We aim for Dragontrail to serve as one of the foundations for growth for the Asahi Glass Group,” he said.