Apple wasted no time putting its
$1 billion U.S. manufacturing fund to work, announcing
Friday that it will invest $200 million into Corning’s
Harrodsburg, Kentucky glass-making plant.
Corning, as everyone knows, manufactures the glass that Apple
has used in iPhones and iPads since day one.
“Corning is a great example of a supplier that has continued to
innovate and they are one of Apple’s long-standing suppliers,”
Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a Friday statement announcing
the investment. “This partnership started 10 years ago with the
very first iPhone, and today every customer that buys an iPhone
or iPad anywhere in the world touches glass that was developed
in America. We’re extremely proud of our collaboration over the
years and we are investing further with Corning who has such a
rich legacy of innovative manufacturing practices.”
Adam Patrick Murray
Apple and Corning have a longstanding relationship, with
Corning making glass for the iPhone and iPad since the
Corning’s Gorilla Glass, introduced in 2007, played a huge role
in the development of Apple’s devices. Corning will be able to
leverage the $200 million investment, which will go toward
equipment, glass processing, and research and development, to
make new versions of its extra-strength glass. Apple at one
point was testing sapphire glass from a different manufacturer,
but that plan flamed out after the sapphire was found to be too
weak for use in iPhones. The company went back to Corning, and
Gorilla Glass has remained a staple.
Corning’s business relationship with Apple has already created
close to 1,000 jobs in the U.S. It’s unclear if the company
will add to its headcount with Apple’s investment, but it’s
“This investment will ensure our plant in Harrodsburg remains a
global center of excellence for glass technology,” Corning CEO
Wendell Weeks said in Friday’s announcement.