According to GT Advanced, sapphire is 2.5 times stronger than reinforced glass material like Gorilla Glass. It’s also scratch resistant and rigid. In the video below, the material is so hard that the concrete is actually breaking up into smaller pieces that must be brushed off the screen. Sapphire may resist scratches, but it’s not free from impact damage. GT Advanced confirmed the glass will still shatter upon impact, but said its shatter point is higher than that of Gorilla Glass.
The biggest drawback to sapphire is the manufacturing cost, which is 3-4 times more expensive than reinforced glass. That manufacturing cost will come down with mass production, which is where Apple and its Arizona plant step in. Apple has the cash, while GT Advanced has the technology to kick-start sapphire production in a big way.