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

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Apple Design Chief Jony Ive to Speak at WIRED’s 25th Anniversary Event in October

Apple design chief Jony Ive will be one of the speakers at WIRED's upcoming 25th anniversary event that's set to take place in San Francisco, California from October 12 to October 15, the magazine announced today.

Ive does not often participate in public discussions, so WIRED's event represents a rare opportunity where he will speak on stage. Ive is set to participate in the event on Monday, October 15.

WIRED's summit features many high-profile speakers in addition to Ive, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and more.

There are no details on what Ive will discuss specifically, but the event is focused on "a day of smart, relevant business conversations." WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson called the event "a great way to look back at everything that has changed, and to look ahead at what will change next too." From the event website:
In 1993, WIRED made a bold prediction--that technology would radically change our world. This year, the silver anniversary edition of our annual Business Conference will gather the titans of tech from the past 25 years on one stage. They'll reflect on the innovations that made the whole world WIRED and introduce you to the ideas and leaders who will shape the 25 years to come.
An all access pass to WIRED's event, which includes the discussion with tech leaders, a festival, and an event at WIRED's office is priced at $1,125. A ticket to the summit where Ive will speak is priced at $993. Pricing is valid until August 20, at which point the ticket cost will increase.


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