Apple invests another $45 Million on Gorilla Glass maker Corning, likely for rumoured foldable iPhone

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From its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, Apple is awarding Corning another $45 million investment in addition to the $450 million it’s already given to the company over the past four years. According to Apple’s announcement, the investment will “expand Corning’s manufacturing capacity in the US and drive research and development into innovative new technologies that support durability and long-lasting product life.”

Corning is headquartered at its namesake, the city of Corning in New York. The tech company specializes in speciality glass, ceramics, and related materials and technologies and provides glass for various Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Apple and Corning have a history dating back to the original iPhone. Last year, the two companies collaborated on the latest iPhone (the iPhone 12) lineup’s Ceramic Shield technology, which Apple claims is “tougher than any smartphone glass” and makes its latest flagships four times more resistant to damage from drops. Apart from Apple, Corning’s Gorilla Glass is used in phones from countless Android manufacturers, including Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Corning’s ultra-thin glass. Image: Corning

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant, Apple, has not provided details on how exactly Corning will use the $45 million investment. Still, its timing coincides with a recent rumour around Apple launching a foldable iPhone in 2023.

According to The Verge, “back in 2019, we heard Corning was developing a bendable version of its glass, and last February, the company said it expects devices using the technology to reach the market in 12 to 18 months. The glass could allow for durable, foldable smartphones that don’t require a layer of plastic protection. This layer is used in Samsung’s latest foldable.

“Today, when you buy a phone with Gorilla Glass, you’re touching glass … that’s what we’re working towards,” Corning said of its ambitions for bendable glass last year.

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