Apple admits to using Corning glass for iPhone

Apple's just-posted job creation page actually says the iPhone uses Corning glass. It's been one of the worst kept secrets in mobile technology, with Apple never admitting to using it and Corning would never admitting to Apple using it. (We've asked them every year at CES and gotten nothing but nervous smiles and subject changes in return.) Former Apple employees have mentioned it, but there's been no official confirmation of it. Until now.

Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone

It doesn't say iPad, which is curious, nor does is say Gorilla Glass specifically, though that's what Corning is famous for. Many of Apple's competitors have touted their use of Gorilla Glass in device specs for years, but that's not how iPhones and iPads are marketed.

Still, for gadget nerds, it's nice to be able to lay this bit of obfuscation to rest.

Here's a video of Corning's new, Gorilla Glass 2.0, from CES 2012. There's no way of knowing when and for which product Apple might switch to the new stuff, but it looks great.

Source: Apple.com (opens in new tab) via @smutchings via @SeborSAM

Rene Ritchie
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

15 Comments
  • That's nothing new. You can read it in Jobs biography!
  • EXACTLY! That's exactly what i was thinking.
  • just looked it up. Chapt 36.
    Jobs doubted the corning glass was good enough. That part is hilarious "Can you shut up," Weeks interjected, "And let me teach you some science?"
    The guy gives Jobs a tutorial on chemistry. lol. And Weeks convinced him.
  • Given the video of the SGS2 & 4S drop test, I doubt the iPhone has gorilla glass.
  • I have to agree with Jim. The iPhone glass is notoriously breakable. Keep that data point in place.
  • It is what it is :S
    Facts are facts, maybe it doesn't help that the iPhone's glass sticks out and isn't covered by a bezel . Unlike most phones. Keep that data point in place.
  • Build a SGS with glass to the edges and you will see the same results.
  • I'd rather have a bezel and a phone that doesn't break than glass to the edge. if you can't do it right, then don't do it.
  • In 2006, Apple Inc. was developing what was to be the first model of the iPhone. Though initially it was to have a hard plastic screen, Steve Jobs found that when placed in his pocket his keys scratched the prototype's surface. Jobs was outraged and resolved to find a glass that was scratch-resistant enough that iPhone buyers wouldn't have the same problem. Jobs ended up contacting the CEO of Corning, Wendell Weeks and told him that Apple needed a light yet strong enough glass screen for use in their consumer devices. Weeks told him of the "gorilla glass" that the company had developed in the 1960s but had since been mothballed. Jobs convinced Weeks to immediately put the glass into production for use in the upcoming iPhone. Despite initial skepticism on Weeks' part that Corning could do so and also be able to manufacture enough screens in time for the iPhone's pending release, they did in fact achieve these aims within six months. Corning's Harrodsburg, Kentucky factory was able to supply enough "gorilla glass" screens for Apple's iPhone release in June 2007.
  • That is a common myth perpetuated by Wikipedia. As per Corning´s own webpage, Gorilla Glass was developed in 2006 and has nothing to do with their 60´s product.
    And it was not deleoped because Steve Jobs wanted, but because Corning felt the need of a stronger glass for the myriad of devices and phones that were appearing at the time.
  • I hate not having a bezel that covers the corners of the glass. And no, that thin strip of rubbery material isn't enough. Glass is glass, no matter what kind. Yay cases.
  • You could always hold on to your phone instead of dropping it. Tell me, how often have you dropped a child? Think of it that way and your phone will always stay whole.
    Having written this, the gods will probably conspire to cause me to drop my phone AND my son. I hate karma sometimes. :P
  • After the gizmodi iPhone 4 Steve Jobs mentioned at the official ip4 event that the material was gorilla glass. Go back to the key notes after he humorously introduced the iphone saying.. "I'm sure no one has seen this before"
  • Sorry gizmodo
  • In Peter Griffin's voice when he went back to third grade "OMG, who the hell cares?" Seriously? It's going to break or shatter if you drop it anyway.