Apple is giving Corning another $ 45 million investment from its advanced manufacturing fund, on top of the $ 450 million already given to the U.S. company over the past four years. According to Apple’s announcement, this investment “will expand Corning’s manufacturing capacity in the United States and stimulate research and development into new, innovative technologies that support product durability and longevity.”
Corning supplies glass for a variety of Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Both companies have a history dating back to the original iPhone. Last year, they collaborated on Ceramic Shield technology for the iPhone 12 line, which Apple says is “stronger than any smartphone glass” and makes its latest flagships four times more resistant to damage. by the falls. In addition to Apple, Corning’s Gorilla Glass is used in phones from countless Android manufacturers, including Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Apple isn’t saying exactly how Corning will use this $ 45 million investment, but its timing coincides with recent reports that Apple may launch a foldable iPhone in 2023. In 2019, we heard that Corning was developing a foldable version of its glass. , and last February the company said it expects devices using the technology to hit the market in 12 to 18 months. If that works, glass could enable durable foldable smartphones that don’t require a protective layer of plastic used in Samsung’s latest foldables.
“Today, when you buy a phone with Gorilla Glass, you touch glass… that’s what we’re working towards,” Corning said of its ambitions for foldable glass last year.