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Apple’s Ceramic Shield technology was introduced with the iPhone 12, promising more resistant 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?

Ceramic Shield Uses Ceramic Nanocrystals

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

Another process used in the technology is dual ion exchange, which means larger ion sizes for a more solid end product. Both of these technologies combine to create a tougher display that Apple used in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 family of devices.

Like other smartphone manufacturers, Apple previously used Corning’s Gorilla Glass in their earlier models. Ceramic Shield is also manufactured by Corning, but the company manufactures it specifically for Apple so it is only found in Apple models.

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How Does Ceramic Shield Stack Up?

Apple claims that Ceramic Shield is the toughest smartphone glass on the market, but the company is characteristically short on evidence to support that claim.


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

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

Get a Case Too

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

The iPhone SE is also highly drop-resistant, but you can do even better with a good iPhone SE case.

The Best iPhone 13 Cases of 2023

Best iPhone 13 Case Overall
Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe for iPhone 13
Spigen Liquid Air Armor
Best Budget iPhone 13 Case
Spigen Liquid Air Armor
Best MagSafe iPhone 13 Case
Apple Clear Case with MagSafe for iPhone 13
Best Wallet iPhone 13 Case
Smartish iPhone 13 Wallet Case
Best Rugged iPhone 13 Case
OtterBox Defender Series SCREENLESS Edition Case for iPhone 13
Best Clear iPhone 13 Case
Phone Case for Symmetry Clear for iPhone 13
Best Thin iPhone 13 Case
Totallee Thin iPhone 13 Case
Apple Leather Case with MagSafe
Best Leather iPhone 13 Case
Apple Leather Case with MagSafe
Profile Photo for Tim Brookes Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf.
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