Goodbye spiderwebs: Apple's iPhone 11 may have shatter-resistant glass

iPhone 11
(Image credit: Future)

Apple's new iPhone 11 is almost definitely right around the corner, with a launch expected in the coming weeks. A rumor surfaced suggesting the new phones will have shatter-resistant technology to improve durability, Bloomberg reports.

Over the years we've seen Apple's iPhone's getting bigger, and more and more glass has been used to cover the front and back of the phones. While Apple has worked to improve the durability of its iPhones, adding water resistance and even developing its own sapphire glass, it's still common enough to see people with shattered iPhones.

That fact is made worse by the ever increasing prices of iPhones. And, the designs haven't always lead to ease of repairability, as we saw in the absurdly high cost of iPhone X repairs two years ago. Repairing a shattered display on the iPhone X cost $279, and a shattered back cost $549.

Shatter-resistant glass could help prevent the kind of catastrophic damage that necessitates such major repairs. Unfortunately, we don't have details on just what this technology is or what degree of protection it offers. If it aims to be truly special, it has its work cut out for it, as Gorilla Glass 6 withstands 15 drops from 1 meter. Motorola has also used its Shattershield technology, but the trick there was using plastic instead of glass.

Other details

Beyond the shatter resistance, Bloomberg's sources suggest there will be three new iPhone 11 devices, with a cheaper iPhone 11R complementing two, higher-end iPhone 11 Pro models.

The new Pro models are expected to feature the three-sensor camera system we've seen in many leaks and device renders. While the iPhone XS family already had dual-sensor systems, the new camera system is expect to add a wide-angle sensor for more versatile shooting. The cameras may also be complemented with more advance video software, including live editing capabilities, and an AMX coprocessor that could advance the devices augmented reality performance.

Face ID may also get a boost from a wider-angle sensor on the front that would make lining up a facial scan easier. And, Apple may finally be doing away with 3D Touch, moving both of the Pro handset over to the Haptic Touch it implemented in the iPhone XR.

One other addition that may explain why shatter resistance will be more important than ever is the ability for the iPhone 11 to wirelessly charge other devices, like AirPods, which would discourage owners from using a case to protect their phone.

  • Get ready for the iPhone 11 with the details on iOS 13
Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.