iPhone 17 display rumored to be anti-reflective and more scratch-resistant

in iPhone edited March 19

A new rumor claims that Apple will adopt a significantly more scratch-resistant, anti-reflective glass display for the iPhone 17.

Future iPhones could have strong glass displays
Future iPhones could have strong glass displays

Apple regularly promotes the hardness and scratch-resistance of its iPhone screens, and its claims are typically backed up in independent testing. A new rumor, however, claims that Apple's glass partner Corning is continuing to to work on yet harder glass, aiming to improve on even its latest Ceramic Shield displays.

According to leaker Instant Digital on Weibo, there is to be a significant change in time for the iPhone 17 in 2025.

Screenshot of a social media post discussing Apple's investment in coating equipment and the scratch resistance of an upcoming iPhone model.
Instant Digital's post on Weibo

This leaker suggests that the new hardness comes with a compromise, however. Specifically, the new screens could show finger-oil issues after less time than the current displays.

"It is true that the screen hardness has been solved, and the oleophobic layer is also a problem of concern to users," the leaker continues.

The leaker says that users who upgrade their iPhone every year will not have a problem. But that implies that the finger oil repelling element of the display will at least begin to fail after a year.

Nonetheless, Instant Digital concludes that this new display means iPhones do not need a third-party screen protector on the screen. The leaker says that it should mean the iPhone be used with "with 0 scratches on the screen."

The leak does not give any details of Apple's screen supplier, but based on their joint history, it's likely that the company is Corning. In which case, the few details available suggest that Apple is buying Corning's Gorilla Glass Armor, which was first deployed on the Samsung S24 Ultra.

Apple has also periodically funded research Corning. Most recently, it gave the company $45 million in 2021, but that follows previous investments totaling $850 million xsince 2017.

Note that leaker Instant Digital does not yet have a long history of accurate leaks. However, it was right about the yellow iPhone 14, for instance.

Rumor Score: Likely

Read on AppleInsider



  • Reply 1 of 4
    Wait and see what JerryRigEverything has to say about that scratch test lol..
  • Reply 2 of 4
    I have had iPhones since the first one, and never had a scratch on my screen. Is this really such a big issue?
  • Reply 3 of 4
    thttht Posts: 5,536member
    michelb76 said:
    I have had iPhones since the first one, and never had a scratch on my screen. Is this really such a big issue?
    Model to model, Apple seems to continually change the balance between the cover glass' scratch resistance (harder) and cracking resistance (softer). If you want to have less phones with cracked glass from drops, the glass will be softer, more flexible, but more prone to scratching. If you want the glass to be less prone to scratches, the glass will be hardware but more prone to cracking. Surely changes based on the phone design.

    Reducing the number of phones with cracked glass, both the front and back, is a huge deal for Apple, and to their customers too as having a cracked glass is a lot worse than scratches. However, those scratches are pokes in the eye for people too, and negatively affects the brand. So, a balance.

    If they can make it both more crack resistant and scratch resistant, it's one of the last big hardware features that has a big impact on consumers. It's a big issue.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    jdiamondjdiamond Posts: 129member
    The reason I put a cover over my screen isn't just to protect it during accidental drops, but also so I can clean it.  I simply have found no easy way to safely clean apple screens directly.  But put glass over it, and you can use any cleaner you want, which works perfectly, and without any risk to damaging the screen.
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