Apple will invest $200 million into Corning Inc.’s new Advanced Manufacturing Fund, with money tagged to support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs and state-of-the-art glass processing.
Corning noted that its 65-year-old Harrodsburg, Ky., facility has played a major role in long collaboration between it and Apple and the highly resistant, durable “Gorilla Glass” that's used for iPhones, iPads and other iOS devices.
Apple has also committed to invest at least $1 billion with U.S. based companies as part of the fund, which is aimed at creating new jobs and a “new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the U.S.”
“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,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, said in a statement. “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.”
“This investment will ensure our plant in Harrodsburg remains a global center of excellence for glass technology,” added Corning chairman, CEO and president Wendell Weeks.
Corning said it has procured enough renewable energy to cover all of its Apple manufacturing in the US.
The Apple-Corning agreement comes on the heels of a commitment by Verizon to buy from Corning up to 20 million kilometers of optical fiber each year, from 2018 to 2020, for hardline networks that will deliver services to homes and businesses and to backhaul the company’s coming 5G network.