Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple’s Long-Term Investment in Corning

With today’s news from Apple that they’re investing $200 million from their recently-announced Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Corning Glass, I thought it might be fun to revisit how Corning became such an integral part of today’s consumer electronics.

Bryan Gardiner, Wired:

From above, Corning’s headquarters in upstate New York looks like a Space Invaders alien: Designed by architect Kevin Roche in the early ’90s, the structure fans out in staggered blocks. From the ground, though, the tinted windows and extended eaves make the building look more like a glossy, futuristic Japanese palace.

The office of Wendell Weeks, Corning’s CEO, is on the second floor, looking out onto the Chemung River. It was here that Steve Jobs gave the 53-year-old Weeks a seemingly impossible task: Make millions of square feet of ultrathin, ultrastrong glass that didn’t yet exist. Oh, and do it in six months. The story of their collaboration — including Jobs’ attempt to lecture Weeks on the principles of glass and his insistence that such a feat could be accomplished — is well known. How Corning actually pulled it off is not.

Apple’s attempt to switch to sapphire crystal for the iPhone 6 is something else that has been well-documented. While it didn’t work out for them, its failure seems to have ultimately strengthened their relationship with Corning.