What is Apple’s Ceramic Shield?

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Apple’s Ceramic Shield technology was introduced with the iPhone 12, promising tougher glass to protect against bumps and drops. But what exactly does “Ceramic Shield” mean and how is it different from the glass used in other smartphones?

The ceramic shield uses ceramic nanocrystals

Ceramic Shield gets its name from the ceramic nanocrystals that are embedded in the glass. The structure of these crystals helps strengthen the glass and protect it against chips and cracks.

Another process used in the technology is double ion exchange, which means larger ion sizes for a stronger end product. These two technologies combine to create a tougher display that Apple has used in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 family of devices.

Like other smartphone makers, Apple previously used Corning’s Gorilla Glass in its previous models. Ceramic Shield is also made by Corning, but the company makes it specifically for Apple, so it’s only found in Apple models.

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How does the ceramic shield stack?

Apple claims that Ceramic Shield is the strongest smartphone glass on the market, but the company generally lacks evidence to support this claim.


The agreement between Corning and Apple ensures that Ceramic Shield remains an Apple-exclusive technology. It’s unclear how tougher Ceramic Shield is than Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus alternative favored by rival Samsung.

Although drop test videos exist, the variable methodology and limited sample sizes can make it difficult to draw strong conclusions. One thing is certain: even with an iPhone model that uses Ceramic Shield, the best protection for any smartphone is a good cover (or several).

Get a case too

The iPhone 13 may have Ceramic Shield protection, but it can and will break if you drop it from high enough. Check out the best iPhone 13 cases to protect you from drops.

The iPhone SE is also very resistant to drops, but you can do even better with a good iPhone SE case.

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