Next year’s iPhone 17 will feature an anti-reflective display that is more scratch-resistant than Apple’s Ceramic Shield found on iPhone 15 models, according to a new rumor out of Asia.

Anti-reflection properties of Galaxy S24 Ultra (bottom) vs. iPhone 15 (Image: IceUniverse)

Chinese Weibo leaker Instant Digital claimed on Tuesday that the outer glass on the iPhone 17 is set to have a “super-hard anti-reflective layer” that is “more scratch-resistant than you think.” The coating equipment has just been handed over to China’s supply chain, according to the leaker, but not in time for it to feature in this year’s upcoming iPhone 16 series.

“Ceramic Shield” is a marketing name for a glass-ceramic material developed by Corning in collaboration with Apple. Apple says the Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 15 is “tougher than any smartphone glass.” Introduced on iPhone 12 models in 2020, Apple advertised the ceramic-infused glass as increasing drop performance by 4x compared to the iPhone 11.

More recently, Samsung debuted its newest Galaxy S24 Ultra, which features a Gorilla Glass Armor display panel, also developed by Corning. According to Corning, the Armor panel cuts reflections by 75 percent compared to a typical glass surface, and is resistant to micro scratches that build up over time on competing glass panels. Corning also claims the panels offer over 4x more scratch resistance than competitive aluminosilicate cover glasses.

It’s not clear whether Apple is planning to adopt Gorilla Glass Armor for the iPhone 17, but the description matches the Chinese leaker’s claims. Corning could also be supplying Apple with an equivalent technology that will be branded under another name.

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Corning has been a longtime Apple supplier, with Gorilla Glass used in devices across Apple’s product lineup. In 2021, Apple said it had invested a combined $495 million to support Corning’s ongoing research and development into “state-of-the-art glass processes,” which led to the creation of Ceramic Shield.

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