Apple’s relationship with Corning has always remained shrouded in mystery. The relationship started famously when Steve Jobs visited Corning Headquarters in 2006 and told CEO Wendell Weeks not to be afraid to make the stuff. Corning however never made it into Apple marketing material after that and even isn’t included in Apple’s supplier lists (PDF).
That and Apple’s reliance on Asian parts materials makers had led some to believe that Apple had gone to Asian glass manufacturers for their iPhone production.
In the New York Times’ iEconomy series, Corning is said to have shifted its glass manufacturing to China.
“Our customers are in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China,” said James B. Flaws, Corning’s vice chairman and chief financial officer. “We could make the glass here, and then ship it by boat, but that takes 35 days. Or, we could ship it by air, but that’s 10 times as expensive. So we build our glass factories next door to assembly factories, and those are overseas.”
However, today, Apple released its US Jobs report which included the following info:
Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone,..
What’s the takeaway?
Regardless of where it is made, Corning is making Apple’s iOS device glass (and possibly some MacBook Pro stuff too.
At CES earlier this year, Corning revealed its Gorilla Glass 2 which it purports to be thinner/lighter/stronger than current Gorilla Glass by up to 20%. That, no doubt, will make it to Apple’s products in the near future.
- Gorilla Glass 2 will allow same strength at 80% of the size, likely to end up in iOS devices (9to5mac.com)
- Corning Gorilla Glass 2 to debut at CES 2012: Will latest innovation be on iPad 3 or iPhone 5? (9to5mac.com)