Saturday, March 03, 2012

Apple inadvertently confirms Gorilla Glass 2 use

0 comments

A perhaps-inadvertent byproduct of Apple's touting of its US job-creating numbers in a new "Job Creation" promo page that launched earlier today is an acknowledgement of the company's apparently-ongoing relationship with Corning, a US company that makes the Gorilla Glass found in iPhones, iPads and now many other brands of smartphones, tablets, notebook computers and TVs. The admission makes it likely that Apple will continue to use Corning glass, perhaps the upcoming Gorilla Glass 2 in future products.

Credit for the revival of Gorilla Glass must go in part to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who convinced Corning CEO Wendell Weeks to restart production of the alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass (which had not been in production since a limited run in the 1960s) in time to replace an unsuccessful plastic screen intended for the original iPhone. Despite skepticism, Jobs' encouragement enabled the company to meet production targets, and the glass now accounts for around $700 million in annual sales for Corning and is used in some 600 different products.

The success of Gorilla Glass has led the company to actively support Gorilla preservation programs in Africa and elsewhere. Other companies, such as Asahi with its Dragontail glass competitor, have hinted that they will try to woo manufacturers away from Corning, which mostly makes its glass in Kentucky.

Late last year Corning announced it had begun production on newer glass technologies, including a product dubbed Lotus Glass that was said to be more eco-friendly, with better tolerance for heat and size. Lotus Glass is said by the company to be intended for high-resolution LCD and OLED displays.

The company also announced a new version of Gorilla Glass earlier this year, called Gorilla Glass 2, that is 20 percent thinner than the original but retains the same flexibility, scratch resistance and strength. Apple, now the biggest single manufacturing client for Corning, is very likely to use either of these technologies in future products such as the iPad 3, along with future iPhone, iPod Touch and notebook models.

Labels