150 years later, Corning headquarters is still in the state of New York. In the small city that gives its name to the company. Much has changed since his early work with headlights, mirrors and telescopes. Now Corning is among the largest companies in the world, with more than 30,000 employees and being the main supplier of glass for screens for the mobile industry. Companies like Samsung, Google or Xiaomi use their Gorilla Glass crystals, also Apple.
With the company of the apple it maintains a close relationship and not only by the fact of using its technology in its devices. In May 2017, Apple announced an investment of 200 million dollars in Corning. A generous amount that today expands with another 250 million dollars to help develop the reinforced glass for the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad .
“The rich history between Apple and Corning goes back more than a decade, with the first iPhone,” explains Jeff Williams, chief operating officer of Apple. It was Steve Jobs himself who called John Bayne , VP of the Gorning division of Corning, to ask for a special crystal for the first iPhone. A job that would normally have taken about two years of R&D was done in six months to arrive on time.
Apple renews its collaboration
Through the Apple Advanced Manufacturing Fund , the company will make an investment of 250 million in Corning Incorporated. The official description is to “support Corning’s research and development in state-of-the-art glass processes, equipment and materials for the delivery of next-generation consumer devices.” Apple currently uses Corning’s reinforced glass on its mobile devices, smartwatches and tablets, including its latest iPhone 11 and 11 Pro that incorporate the latest generation of Gorilla Glass.
Today @Apple announced an additional $250M investment from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Corning’s Harrodsburg, Ky. facility. This new investment supports Corning’s efforts as a supplier of precision glass for next-generation devices.
With this investment, Apple reinforces its commitment to manufacturing ‘made in USA’ . The construction of the glass of the new iPhone has been carried out at the Kentucky plant and its 400 employees, in Harrodsburg. This is a decision that is closely linked to the protectionist policy of the Trump administration. Apple already commented that it was capable of manufacturing its devices entirely outside of China .
According to the data offered by Apple itself, in 2018 more than 60,000 million dollars were invested in 9,000 different suppliers in the US, which created more than 450,000 jobs. With its $ 200 million investment in 2017, Apple would have helped Corning manufacture its most recent crystals as well as generate up to 1,000 Corning jobs closely related to Apple’s businesses.
In search of new innovations for Gorilla Glass
Neither Apple nor Corning have detailed what developments they are exploring. In the press release you can read: “This award will allow us to create innovative developments in glass , while expanding our manufacturing capabilities. Most importantly, our collaboration allows us to create new vital capabilities for end users and continue expanding the limits of what is possible in the future. ” It can refer to the new generations of Gorilla Glass or a different product.
In the case of the iPhone 11 they are protected with the Gorilla Glass 6 crystal, which achieves greater resistance to falls . And is that according to Apple, the new iPhone offers the “toughest glass on any smartphone” both front and back.