Apple in 2018 spent $60 billion with American component suppliers

Coinciding with today's report in The New York Times detailing why Apple won’t be bringing manufacturing jobs back home, the Cupertino technology giant has now issued a press release focused on US suppliers Finisar, Corning and Broadcom which are building parts for its products at domestic manufacturing plants.

The gist of the report: the iPhone maker in 2018 alone spent a whopping $90 billion with 9,000 America component suppliers and companies such as Finisar, Corning and Broadcom.

The figure translates into an increase of more than ten percent from the year before, supporting more than 450,000 jobs, according to the press release.

Finisar, which supplies laser components for the TrueDepth camera, was awarded $390 million from Apple’s $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund last year to expand production. The supplier used that money to turn an unoccupied building in Sherman, Texas into a "bustling operation" full of people who will supply that future business.

Finisar's technician handles a VCSEL wafer during production.

The facility will eventually employ up to 500 engineers who will be mass-producing vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for modern iPhones.

VCSEL wafers are nearly as thin as a human hair and contain hundreds of layers measuring only a few atoms in thickness. They require a highly advanced and precise manufacturing operation, as well as skilled technicians with specialized training.

Corning's 65-year-old facility in Harrodsburg, Kentucky produces iPhone cover glass. It received a $200 million investment from Apple for state-of-the-art glass processing.

Army veteran Michael Turner, 40, Michael Turner gets ready to enter the production floor at the Sherman plant.

Apple works with many other US suppliers, like Cincinnati Test Systems and Broadcom.

Cincinnati Test Systems in Ohio designed a first-of-its-kind equipment to ensure iPhone is water resistant. And Broadcom in Fort Collins, Colorado, Qorvo in Hillsboro, Oregon and Skyworks in Woburn, Massachusetts, are all making wireless communication hardware that enables global connectivity.

Since 2011, the total number of jobs created and supported by Apple in the US has more than tripled, from almost 600,000 to 2 million across all 50 states.

Glass vendor Corning to receive $200 million from Apple’s new fund

Gorilla Glass maker Corning Incorporated shall receive a cool $200 million from Apple's new $1 billion fund aimed at creating advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States.

The investment will support the Kentucky-based company’s R&D, capital equipment needs and “state-of-the-art glass processing,” Apple said Friday.

For over a decade, Corning employees have helped create the protective glass found on iOS devices, with its 65-year-old Harrodsburg facility having been integral to the collaboration between the two companies.

Since the inception of Gorilla Glass in 2007, the Apple-Corning partnership has created and sustained nearly 1,000 US jobs across Corning’s R&D, manufacturing and commercial functions, including over 400 in Harrodsburg, said the iPhone maker.

Corning's procured enough renewable energy to cover all of its Apple manufacturing in US.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said:

Corning is a great example of a supplier that has continued to innovate and they are one of Apple's long-standing suppliers.

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.

Corning recaptures glass material for use in the production process and to help reduce waste.

Corning developed its durable type of glass back in the 1960s.

Aptly dubbed Gorilla Glass, it was a financial flop at the time so the company stopped making it. Fast forward to 2005, when Corning CEO Wendell Weeks gave Steve Jobs a demonstration of his company's glass material.

Jobs was impressed and decided to use Corning's glass protection for the original iPhone, as explained in Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of the late Apple co-founder:

Jobs said he wanted as much Gorilla Glass as Corning could make within six months. 'We don't have the capacity,' Weeks replied. 'None of our plants make the glass now.'

'Don't be afraid,' Jobs replied.

This stunned Weeks, who was good-humored and confident but not used to Jobs' reality distortion field. He tried to explain that a false sense of confidence would not overcome engineering challenges, but that was a premise that Jobs had repeatedly shown he didn't accept.

He stared at Weeks unblinking. 'Yes, you can do it,' he said. 'Get your mind around it. You can do it."

As Weeks retold this story, he shook his head in astonishment. 'We did it in under six months,' he said. 'We produced a glass that had never been made.'

Corning's facility in Harrisburg, Kentucky, which had been making LCD displays, was converted almost overnight to make Gorilla Glass full-time.

'We put our best scientists and engineers on it, and we just made it work.'

In his airy office, Weeks has just one framed memento on display. It's a message Jobs sent the day the iPhone came out: 'We couldn't have done it without you.'

In the US, Apple now supports two million jobs across all 50 states.

This includes 450,000 jobs attributable to the firm’s spend and investment with US-based suppliers. In 2016, the Cupertino firm spent over $50 billion with more than 9,000 domestic suppliers and manufacturers.

Sapphire-like Corning glass could come to next iPhone

Kentucky-based Corning has announced that Sapphire-like glass called "Project Phire" will be shipping on smartphones later this year. While not direct confirmation, this could be the glass found on the next iPhone, as Corning has been the glass Apple has chosen in previous generations.

The new glass was announced at an event in New York City, reports CNET, and the company claims it offers the scratch resistance of sapphire but does better when dropped. 

iPhone cover glass maker Corning unveils two times tougher Gorilla Glass 4

Corning, a company that supplies Apple and many other device vendors with its chemically strengthened glass, on Thursday announced the fourth-generation Gorilla Glass which it says has been designed to be up to two times tougher against drops on rough surfaces than “any competitive cover glass design now in the market.”

The announcement comes at an interesting time for Apple in light of its failed experiment with sapphire maker GT Advanced Technology which led to GT's unexpected bankruptcy and an unused $1 billion manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Although the California firm planned on protecting the 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens on the latest iPhone 6 devices with ultra-thin sheets of sapphire, the plan was scrapped following GT's failed attempts to ramp up production and meet Apple's exacting standards in terms of volume and yields.

Corning exec slams sapphire, calling it heavy and environmentally unfriendly

We've known for a while now that Corning, the manufacturer behind Gorilla Glass used in several mobile devices, wasn't a fan of sapphire crystal as an option for protective display material. And why should it be, considering the tech is a direct competitor to its flagship Gorilla line.

But at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference yesterday, the company escalated the beef with some comments made by SVP Tony Tripeny. When asked about the 'puts and takes' of sapphire, the exec called it heavy, expensive and environmentally unfriendly...

CES 2014: iPhone glass maker Corning launching new antimicrobial Gorilla Glass

Living tissue on your hands already contains a plethora of germs and more pathogen organisms get picked up whenever you're in contact with dirty surfaces, which is pretty much all the time. And when you pick up your iPhone and bring it to your ear, these germs get transferred to your face where they enter your immune system through the moist mucous membranes of your eyes, mouth and nose.

Specialty glass maker and primary iPhone cover glass supplier Corning thought of that, too, and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas announced an antimicrobial version of its Gorilla Glass which uses ionic silver to prevent growth of bacteria and other pathogen organisms...

Corning says it’s ready to produce ‘3D-shaped’ Gorilla Glass

New York-based glass manufacturer Corning announced yesterday the manufacturing readiness of its new 3D glass-forming technology to shape its patented Gorilla Glass, which has been used in a number of mobile devices including iPhones and iPads.

The company says it's targeting commercialization of finished 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass parts this year that will "expand the possibilities" for industrial designers. And of course, this has led to speculation that it's preparing for future wearable devices...

Samsung buys stake in iPhone cover glass maker Corning

Gorilla Glass maker Corning has a new partner: Samsung. The South Korean firm is taking ownership in the company which produces tough glass displays for the iPhone and just about everyone else. At the same time, the $2 billion agreement gives Samsung a 10-year a supply contract while Corning gets the cash to explore future technology.

Along with making highly-resistant glass for smartphones, Corning could also be tapped to produce flexible material aimed at the growing number of wearable devices, such as Samsung's Galaxy Gear and Apple's long-rumored iWatch...

New report claims Apple launching 55″ and 65″ 4K TV sets in 2014

Apple may not be ready to introduce its TV set at today's iPad event, but the project does appear to be nearing completion. This according to comments made by Advanced Research's Masahiko Ishino, in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

Citing anonymous sources, the Tokyo-based analyst tells the news outlet that the Cupertino company is preparing to begin selling ultra-high definition televisions next year. The TV will come in 55" and 65" flavors, with a frameless design...

Corning launches Lotus XT Glass ahead of next-gen iPhone

Corning Glass, Inc. made a name for itself when Steve Jobs chose the Kentucky-based company to supply cover glass for the original iPhone because he wanted the device's touchscreen to ooze premium quality. Nowadays, Corning glass is found protecting mobile screens used on the vast majority of smartphones and tablets out there.

Although the company unveiled the ultra-slim Willow Glass last June, that product is aimed at mobile devices that incorporate flexible displays and could theoretically be used for a rumored iWatch. Ahead of CES, the firm launched its 40 percent more scratch resistant and 50 percent stronger Gorilla Glass 3.

And just yesterday, they announced the commercial launch of Corning Lotus XT, a second-generation glass substrate aimed at high-performance displays...

How hi-tech curved glass could be used for an iWatch

Even though there certainly is no shortage of iWatch rumors these days, we're kinda short on new mockups. Thanks to the United Kingdom's The Guardian newspaper which yesterday published this detailed mockup, there's something to chew on on this slow news Monday (it's Presidential's Day holiday in the United States).

We already reported on how former Apple exec Jean-Louis Gassée thinks the iWatch is an intimate computer rather than a smart watch with a twist. We also know from Bloomberg that Apple reportedly has a 100-engineer strong team working on the project. Taking it all in, The Guardian newspaper thinks Apple's take on the Dick Tracy watch takes advantage of recent developments in hi-tech curved glass, cheaper sensors and better voice recognition software...

This is how strong Corning’s new Gorilla Glass 3 is

Apple's been using Corning's tough cover glass on all iPhone models, up to the point where you could safely conclude the iPhone helped Corning a great deal make a name for itself. Ahead of CES, the New York-based company announced its third-generation Corning Glass, 40 percent more scratch resistant and 50 percent stronger. Here's a nice demonstration of just how strong it really is. I'm sure it'll give you a pause, it's right past the fold...