Skip to main content
January 17, 2012

Thinner glass could lead to slimmer phones

Just when you thought the mighty Gorilla Glass couldn’t get any better, it has.

via SlashGear

So what exactly does this mean for the mobile industry? Well for a start, if the glass used for the screens is 20% thinner than it has been in the past, that means that more can be squeezed into less, making your pocket computer even smaller.

Let’s take a moment to think about what’s held within the casing of the average mobile phone nowadays:

  • A fully-functioning digital camera that often has better optics and more megapixels than the average point and shoot.
  • A fully functioning GPS unit, with arguably better performance and greater accuracy than a vehicle-based unit (especially with Nokia Drive)
  • An accelerometer (or gyroscope in the case of the Nokia Lumia 900) that can sense when the phone is turned round, so the screen can align itself with the new aspect
  • A processor fast enough to play HD games
  • Memory enough to store more music and photographs than you could physically carry
  • Technology for making phone calls
  • All weighing in at about the same as an average piece of fruit.

Did I miss anything?

So what does the future hold? If the glass can get thinner what else can we reduce the size of? Well the circuit boards could certainly benefit from technology just invented. But where would that leave us? Components smaller than a pinhead rattling round in a device with a screen that, if popular opinion continues to have its say will end up just short of tablet-size soon. Yes it will weigh the same as a piece of paper, but it will also be the size of a piece of paper (side note….foldable phones, what do you think?)

So, back to the glass. With something like glass, you’d think thinner must mean weaker? Negative. According to SlashGear, the 20% reduction in thickness actually increased the strength of the glass by….20%!!

via TechnoBuffalo

120 pounds of pressure on something 0.8mm thick. That’s MILLImetres.

So how thin is too thin? Would you be willing to take a phone from your pocket/purse and unfold it before using it (not in a flip phone way, but a piece of paper way)? Where does the technology point? How thin does a phone have to get before it’s too fragile? All questions for the developers of future mobile tech to ponder, but we always want to know what you think (some of your ideas might even make their way back to Nokia House!) – so let us know in the comments, or drop us a line @Nokia_Connects…we always look forward to hearing from you.