corning Stories September 17, 2014

sapphire

Time is reporting that, in contrast to the many rumors (and GTAT investor claims), Apple had never planned to use sapphire displays for the iPhone 6, and the company may not use it for future iPhones.

Some reports stated that up until a few weeks before the iPhone announcement, Apple was going to use sapphire but dropped it because of yield issues. This is not true. My sources tell me that sapphire was never targeted for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus and its role in future iPhones hasn’t even been decided yet.

Speculation about sapphire displays for the iPhone 6 began when Apple built a major new manufacturing facility in Arizona last November. But Time‘s Tim Bajarin says that while the scratch-resistance of the material may have made it sound superficially appealing, there were no fewer than five reasons it would not have made sense to use the material for the iPhone 6 display …

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corning Stories March 11, 2014

While it’s not yet certain that the iPhone 6 screen will get a sapphire layer, that’s certainly the way things look at present – providing a screen that is pretty much impervious to scratches (though no more resistant to breakage).

The problem with sapphire is it’s about ten times as expensive as Gorilla Glass. There have been vague suggestions that new manufacturing techniques might narrow the gap, but it still seems likely that Apple will have to sacrifice a bit of margin to introduce the material.

That’s likely a cost the company can afford, given the marketing benefit of an effectively scratchproof screen. But will we also see sapphire screens on iPads … ?  expand full story

corning Stories March 8, 2014

The promise of the Thunderbolt standard is that it can deliver a lot of data over long distances very quickly for many types of devices. Unfortunately, that promise has been pretty slow to materialize, and the long distance piece of the equation has been particularly painful.

Corning is hoping to turn that around this year with the consumer launch of its Thunderbolt Optical Cables in 10 meter (33 foot), 30 meter (99 foot), and 60 meter (198 foot) sizes. With these lengths, you can put your Thunderbolt hard disk and arrays far away from your desk. If you have a Thunderbolt Display or a Thunderbolt dock, you can even move your Mac to the utility closet or basement and really clean up your desk space.

I’ve been using the 33-foot version for a few weeks and here’s my take: expand full story

corning Stories March 5, 2014

Gorilla Glass maker Corning (predictably) slams sapphire, saying weaker and dimmer

In the tech equivalent of a turkey dissing Thanksgiving dinners, Corning SVP Tony Tripeny has criticized sapphire as a material for protecting phone screens, coming up with a whole list of claimed drawbacks, reports CNET.

We see a lot of disadvantages of Sapphire versus Gorilla Glass. It’s about 10 times more expensive. It’s about 1.6 times heavier. It’s environmentally unfriendly. It takes about 100 times more energy to generate a Sapphire crystal than it does glass. It transmits less light which…means either dimmer devices or shorter battery life. It continues to break. I think while it’s a scratch resistant product it still breaks and our testing says that Gorilla Glass [can take] about 2.5 times more pressure that it can take.

Sapphire is far more resistant to scratches than Gorilla Glass, but Corning argue that it is more likely to be smashed.

Apple is expected to switch to a sapphire coating for the iPhone 6, manufacturing the material at the plant it jointly operates with GTAT in Arizona. While the material is indeed currently much more expensive than glass, it has been suggested that the costs could be substantially reduced with new production techniques.

corning Stories January 6, 2014

In an effort to combat spreading germs and bacteria through sharing smart phones and touch screen devices, Corning announced today plans to produce a Gorilla Glass variant with an antimicrobial surface for inhibiting bacterial growth. This version of Corning Gorilla Glass is made up of an antibacterial agent and contains levels of ionic silver that sustains the germ fighting capabilities through the life of the surface, according to the company. expand full story

corning Stories January 3, 2014

Corning announces 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass variant for curved displays

 

Corning, the company that makes the Gorilla Glass found in Apple’s iOS devices and many other mobile phones across the market, announced today that they have achieved “manufacturing readiness” for a 3D-shaped version of Gorilla Glass. This essentially means that the company has finished developing the process to create this new and improved glass and is ready to start manufacturing it for smartphone manufacturers and other companies.

The press release notes that “more than half of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers already market devices that incorporate cover glass with subtle curves.” Up until now, those phones have had to forego the super-durable display afforded by Corning and settle for something more pliable.

What this means in the long run is that phones with curved displays will become less of a compromise in quality for companies like Apple, which was rumored to be developing a curved-glass iPhone for some time in the near future, perhaps even next year.

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