Corning will get another $45 million from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund, on top of the $450 million it has already invested in the US-based company over the last four years. The investment would “expand Corning’s manufacturing capacity in the United States and drive research and development into creative new technologies that support durability and long-term product life,” according to Apple’s recently released statement.
Corning manufactures glass which is used in the manufacture of Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The two firms have a long association that dates back to the iPhone’s inception. They cooperated on the Ceramic Shield technology in the iPhone 12 series last year, which Apple claims is “tougher than any smartphone glass” and makes Apple’s current flagship models four times more resistant to drop damage than competitors. Corning’s Gorilla Glass is utilised in phones from a wide range of Android manufacturers, including Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Apple’s Foldable iPhone?
This news comes as rumours around Apple’s involvement in foldable mobile phone technology grow. Samsung and other mobile phone manufacturers have been producing foldable phones since 2019, and the technology is rapidly improving. Foldable phones allow users to get all of the benefits of a larger screen without having to worry about the downsides, such as an unwieldy device that’s difficult to carry.
The technology behind foldable phones is known as an OLED screen which is ultra-thin yet surprisingly durable. It can be folded and bent, which allows manufacturers to create phones with large screens that can still be stowed away easily when not in use. Foldable phones are perfect for people who like having a big screen to play games like live roulette and others. The advantage of a big screen is that it’s easier to see what you’re doing, and you can use the touch screens with a higher level of accuracy.
Apple hasn’t specified how the $45 million investment will be used, although the timeframe fits with recent predictions that Apple may release a foldable iPhone in 2023. Corning said in 2019 that it was working on a flexible version of its glass, and the company claimed in February that gadgets using the technology should be available in 12 to 18 months. If it succeeds, the glass could lead to more robust foldable mobiles without the need for a layer of plastic protection like Samsung’s latest models.
What is Corning?
Corning Incorporated is a multinational technology firm based in the United States that specialises in specialised glass, ceramics, and related materials and technologies. The company has a 170-year record of innovation, and one of its main innovations over the past few years is the development of Gorilla Glass. This special type of glass is extra resistant to scratches and breaking, making it ideal for mobile devices.
Because mobile devices such as phones and smartphones usually see daily use, they need to be resistant to shocks and scratches and regular glass breaks easily. As a result, Gorilla Glass was developed by Corning to solve this issue, and to date, it’s been used in more than 6 billion devices from over 45 major brands, including Apple. The partnership between Apple and Corning has resulted in sturdier and more durable phones, and the company also hopes to be able to develop its first foldable screens in the near future. Last year, Corning stated of its plans for flexible glass, “Today, when you buy a phone with Gorilla Glass, you’re touching glass… that’s what we’re working towards.”