Corning, a company which has been making Gorilla Glasses for Apple from the very start has received $250 million from Apple for R&D and for development and expansion of Corning’s facilities. This funding is also supposed to be helping with the development of glass for iPhone’s, Apple Watch and iPad’s including “state-of-the-art glass processes, equipment, and materials integral to the delivery of next-generation consumer devices,” Apple said.
But still, the exact deal between Apple and Corning is unknown as of now. Also, it was of public knowledge that prior agreements between these two companies had resulted in a lump sum payoff from Apple to Corning to avail future supplies at a relatively low amount, which is kind of purchasing items from a wholesale market.
As per the sources, this lump sum amount of funding’s that are provided to Corning comes from a $5 billion fund that Apple had set separately to advance U.S. Manufacturing which focuses to fuel “a new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the US.”
With the latest release of iPhone 11, 11 Pro and Pro Max, Apple claims that these iPhones have “the toughest glass ever in a smartphone.” This is a custom made glass put forward exclusively for Apple. The iPhone 11, 11 Pro and Pro Max devices will be made available in the apple stores by Friday says Apple.
“This award underscores Apple and Corning’s shared belief in the vital role that ingenuity plays in creating industry-leading products,” said Apple COO Jeff Williams. “It’s also about the pride that both companies take in applying American innovation and advanced manufacturing to solve some of the world’s toughest technology challenges.”
In an interview, John Bayne, Senior Vice President, and General Manager denied to provide any specifics regarding the glass used in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max or compare it with the Gorilla Glass 6 that appears in devices like Samsung’s Note 10. But he said Apple’s investment from 2017 allowed Corning to “develop advanced manufacturing processes specific for Apple. … This investment and glass are specific to Apple.”
In the very beginning in 2006 when Steve Jobs was searching for a glass manufacturer for the iPhone’s, he met with his friend who was the on Corning’s Board of Director, he advised Jobs to meet the new CEO, Wendell Weeks. And this is how the Apple-Corning Relationship started.
Summing up the payments that Apple made, they are about $450 million from Apple’s U.S. manufacturing fund. Also, Corning had previously received an amount of $200 million in 2017. The funding had also previously involved a payment of $390 million to Chipmaker Finisar Corp and $10 million to an Aluminium Venture to create a carbon-free aluminum smelting process.