Corning says sapphire ‘not a major threat’, posts video showing why Gorilla Glass is superior

In case you needed some proof that the rumors of Apple switching from Corning glass to sapphire crystal are unlikely, Corning has posted a video on its website showing how its current Gorilla Glass is superior to sapphire for mobile devices.

Recently, speculation has arisen that manufactured sapphire crystal might become an alternative to Corning’s Gorilla Glass.  “Sapphire’s performance as a cover for high-end watches probably leads to the current speculation.  But those covers are much smaller than a mobile phone and are two to three times thicker than Gorilla Glass.  In one of our commonly accepted strength tests, sapphire breaks more easily than Gorilla Glass after the same simulated use.  Additionally, sapphire’s cost and environmental hit are huge issues,” Steiner said.

There have been a couple rumors floating around that smartphone makers are looking into using sapphire crystal as a replacement for other cover glass solutions. With Apple using the material as a cover for its camera lenses on iPhone 5 and the latest iPod touch, some have speculated it could use sapphire for other parts of its devices, such as the display’s cover glass or home button. However, that’s not likely, according to Corning, Gorilla Glass is “about half the weight”, requires 99 percent less energy in manufacturing, provides brighter displays, and “costs less than a tenth” of sapphire.  Read more

Apple acknowledges use of Corning Gorilla Glass on iPhone, means Gorilla Glass 2 likely for iPhone 5

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? Read more

Corning Gorilla Glass 2 to debut at CES 2012: Will latest innovation be on iPad 3 or iPhone 5?

Corning Inc., announced today its plan to unveil Gorilla Glass 2 at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, and the company said more product details would be made available Jan. 9.

The Corning, N.Y.-based company plans to “showcase the critical role of highly engineered specialty glass in addressing emerging trends” at CES 2012. Some of the highlights include increased functionality from smaller form factors; connected devices in new applications; touch technology; and, large-format design aesthetics.

However, the main attraction to the Corning booth will be the introduction of Gorilla Glass 2, which is the next generation of the damage-resistant cover glass found on practically every consumer electronic today. CES attendees will have access to Corning experts and products featuring the latest Gorilla Glass applications.

The timely debut of Gorilla Glass 2 comes just before the rumored early-2012 launch of the iPad 3, as well as the rumored summer-to-fall launch of the iPhone 5, leaving room for Apple to include the latest technology on its upcoming devices.

Although not confirmed, it is worth speculating whether Corning supplied Apple, before today’s announcement, with Gorilla Glass 2 for iOS device production. The idea does not seem far-fetched considering the nature of both companies’ relationship…

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