Apple invests $250 million in Corning for future iPhone glass research

CNET | 9/17/2019 | Shara Tibken
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Corning has made the glass for every iPhone since the first in 2007. Here, glowing glass pours down like syrup onto a metal sheet at Corning's lab in upstate New York.

Apple's making another big investment in Corning to supercharge iPhone glass development.

Tech - Giant - Tuesday - Corning - Advanced

The tech giant on Tuesday said it's giving Corning $250 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, adding to the $200 million it invested two years ago. The money is meant to help with Corning's development of glass for the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad, including "state-of-the-art glass processes, equipment and materials integral to the delivery of next-generation consumer devices," Apple said.

The latest iPhones, the $699 iPhone 11, $999 11 Pro and $1,099 11 Pro Max, use custom Corning glass that Apple boasts is "the toughest glass ever in a smartphone." The devices are available in stores Friday.

Glass

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"You can draw a straight line from the [funding] announcement in 2017 to [last week's] declaration on the iPhone and can figure out where that money was invested," John Bayne, head of Corning's Gorilla Glass business, said in an interview ahead of the funding announcement. The new $250 million investment will allow Corning to "double down," he said.

Apple - Products - Future - Bayne - Level

"We work very closely with Apple to understand what they're doing with products in the future ... and how we can support that," Bayne said. "This takes it to another level."

To consumers, Corning is probably best known for its Pyrex glassware in the kitchen. But it's also a major supplier of glass displays for smartphones, TVs and other electronics. Phones from Apple and Samsung use Corning's latest technologies, and since the initial launch of Gorilla Glass in 2007, over 7 billion devices have hit the market with it.

Apple - Corning - Glass

Apple has used Corning's glass...
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