When the first iPhone was being tested by Apple engineers and executives, the device employed a plastic screen. That didn’t sit too well with Steve Jobs who noticed that the screen was prone to immense scratching from keys and other pocketable items. Being the perfectionist he is, Jobs demanded an alternative solution which ultimately ended up being glass.
Since the first iPhone release, Apple has remained mum as to what type of glass it uses on the iPhone. Though many speculated that it was Corning’s famous Gorilla Glass, no one knew for sure – that is until it was confirmed in Steve Jobs’ biography.
And in case you need even more confirmation, Apple last week released a US jobs report which, amongst other things, highlights Apple’s contribution to the US economy.
Listed within the report is the following blurb, “Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone…”
So there you have it.
It is unclear, however, what type of glass Apple employes on the iPad. It’s been rumored that Apple uses Asahi Glass Co.’s ‘Dragontrail Glass’ technology on the iPad, which is quite similar to Corning’s Gorilla Glass.
At this year’s CES, Corning unveiled Gorilla Glass 2, which it touts as being thinner and lighter than the original by upwards of 20%. Perhaps it will make its Apple debut on the iPhone 5.
Corning’s press release from a few weeks ago reads:
First introduced in 2007, Corning Gorilla Glass set the industry standard for damage-resistant cover glass. Today it is the most widely deployed cover glass, used by more than 30 major brands and designed into more than 575 product models, spanning more than 500 million units worldwide.
As one of the company’s fastest growing businesses, Corning Gorilla Glass is expected to reach more than $ 700 million in 2011 sales, nearly triple 2010 results.
So once again, Apple isn’t alone, but it was the first, and now, most likely the biggest as well.
Back in 2010, NYT columnist David Pogue said, “Today, Apple buys practically all the Gorilla Glass that Corning can make. Apple is the world’s No. 1 consumer of it.”