Apple Awards iPhone Glass Supplier Corning Additional $250M From Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Apple today announced it is awarding its longtime iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch glass supplier Corning an additional $250 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, building on its $200 million award in 2017.


The combined $450 million investment will support Corning's research and development into "state-of-the-art glass processes, equipment and materials integral to the delivery of next-generation consumer devices," including the upcoming iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro lineup, according to Apple.

Apple COO Jeff Williams:
Apple and Corning's rich history dates back more than a decade, and our partnership revolutionized glass and transformed the technology industry with the first iPhone. This award underscores Apple and Corning's shared belief in the vital role that ingenuity plays in creating industry-leading products, and the pride that both companies take in applying American innovation and advanced manufacturing to solve some of the world's toughest technology challenges.
Apple says it Advanced Manufacturing Fund was designed to "foster and support the innovative production and high-skill jobs that will help fuel a new era of technology-driven manufacturing" in the United States. To date, Apple has invested over $1 billion in American companies from the fund.

In addition to the $450 million now awarded to Corning, other commitments already announced include $390 million to Finisar and $10 million to the joint venture Elysis working towards carbon-free aluminum smelting.

Apple says it spent a collective $60 billion with 9,000 American suppliers in 2018, supporting 450,000 jobs in all 50 states and manufacturing locations in 36 states. iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max use glass manufactured at Corning's factory in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

Corning has partnered with Apple since 2007 to provide glass for every generation of the iPhone and Apple Watch, and many generations of the iPad, all manufactured in the Harrodsburg facility. Since the iPhone launched in 2007, Apple has spent nearly $3 billion with Corning on the glass used in those devices.


This article, "Apple Awards iPhone Glass Supplier Corning Additional $250M From Advanced Manufacturing Fund" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Supplier Corning Working on Glass Display Solution for Foldable Phones

With foldable smartphones from the likes of Samsung and Huawei now out in the open, speculation has been piqued over whether Apple will follow suit. We know the company has explored ideas related to foldable phones in patent applications, but Apple is unlikely to release a foldable iPhone unless it can meet strict quality standards, and judging by the bulky designs and expensive price tags of early foldable devices, that could still be some ways off.

Huawei Mate X

One innovation in particular that Apple could be holding out for is foldable glass. Early folding phone manufacturers have been relying on plastic polymers to make their flexible displays, but unlike glass, plastic creases and crinkles over time. The material is also less robust and easier to scratch, which is why the deviation from traditional glass smartphone panels is all the more noticeable.

Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass, is known to be actively developing a foldable glass solution that could one day find its way into a future foldable iPhone. Corning is a long-time Apple supplier, and its Gorilla Glass products have been used in the iPhone and the iPad for several years, which makes its current work on glass that's 0.1mm thick and can bend to a 5mm radius all the more interesting.
"In a glass solution, you're really challenging the laws of physics, in that to get a very tight bend radius you want to go thinner and thinner, but you also have to be able to survive a drop event and resist damage," Corning general manager John Bayne recently told Wired.

"The back of the problem we're trying to break, the technical challenge, is, can you keep those tight 3- to 5-millimeter bend radii and also increase the damage resistance of the glass. That's the trajectory we're on."
According to Wired, Corning is combining its experience with Willow Glass, which can roll up like a sheet of paper, and Gorilla Glass, which gets its strength from an ion-exchange process. Unfortunately, that process involves dipping glass into a molten salt solution, and salt corrodes the transistors found in display applications, which makes Willow Glass unsuitable for phones. Corning's work is currently focused on overcoming this challenge.
"We have glasses we've sampled to customers, and they're functional, but they're not quite meeting all the requirements," Bayne says. "People either want better performance against a drop event or a tighter bend radius. We can give them one or the other; the key is to give them both."
Bayne thinks the company's foldable glass will be ready for the mainstream in a couple of years. With a bit of luck, the $200 million that Apple granted Corning out of its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund will help the U.S. company achieve that goal.


This article, "Apple Supplier Corning Working on Glass Display Solution for Foldable Phones" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

CES 2019: OtterBox Teams Up With Corning for New Line of Screen Protectors

OtterBox today announced that it's teaming up with Corning for a new line of Amplify screen protectors for smartphones.

For those unfamiliar with Corning, Corning is the company that creates the super strong Gorilla Glass that's used in Apple's iOS devices and other electronics.


OtterBox and Corning plan to create a "full portfolio" of "innovative glass solutions" to provide additional protection to smartphones and tablets while also improving the user experience.

The Amplify screen protectors will use proprietary engineering and manufacturing techniques for longer-lasting protection and durability.
"We understand that your phone screen is the window into your world and a gateway to your most important memories," said OtterBox CEO Jim Parke. "Corning is the leading glass innovation company in the world, and we look forward to this partnership improving smartphone screen protection for our customers."
According to OtterBox, the Amplify line of screen protectors will be launching soon for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.


This article, "CES 2019: OtterBox Teams Up With Corning for New Line of Screen Protectors" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums