Apple pumps $45m into iPhone glass partner, Corning
Apple has thrown another $45 million at a partner who makes high-tech glass for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, Corning Incorporated.
Apple’s Glass don’t come cheap
The new millions come from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund and will expand Corning’s U.S. manufacturing capacity and R&D. Apple notes durability and environmental protection as part of the investment, which follows an additional $450m from Apple’s fuind over the last four years.
The investment has helped facilitate research and development into state-of-the-art glass processes, which led to the creation of Ceramic Shield, a new material that is tougher than any smartphone glass developed by experts from both companies.
The investment follows a $410m investment in LiDAR and Face ID lasers last week.
What Apple said
“Apple and Corning have a long history of working together to accomplish the impossible,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “From the very first iPhone glass, to the revolutionary Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 12 lineup, our collaboration has changed the landscape of smartphone cover design and durability. Ceramic Shield is a prime example of the technologies that are possible when deep innovation meets the power of American manufacturing. We’re so proud to work alongside Corning, whose 170-year-old legacy is a testament to the ingenuity of the US workforce.”
What Corning said
“We are incredibly proud of our collaboration with Apple on Ceramic Shield, made possible in part through the Advanced Manufacturing Fund and the hard work and dedication of hundreds of individuals at Corning and Apple,” said Wendell P. Weeks, Corning’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“We thank Apple for our longstanding product-development partnership and for their continued commitment to supporting the American workforce. The deep investment they’ve provided for new manufacturing technology in our Harrodsburg, Kentucky, facility is not only fueling life-changing innovation, it’s also helping us sustain vital communities where we live and work – a fundamental objective at both of our companies. Together, we’re developing a world-class workforce, engaging them in new technologies, and creating opportunities for learning and training.”
What Apple says about Ceramic Shield
Apple took a few moments in its release to discuss Ceramic Shield, saying, “The new material was enabled by a high-temperature crystallization step which forms nano-crystals within the glass matrix. Those specialized crystals are kept small enough that the material is transparent. The resulting material makes up the revolutionary Ceramic Shield, which Apple used to fashion the new front cover featured on iPhone in the iPhone 12 lineup. Prior to Ceramic Shield, embedded crystals have traditionally affected the material’s transparency, a crucial factor for the front cover of iPhone because so many features, including the display, the camera, and sensors for Face ID, need optical clarity to function.”