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Apple awards Corning, iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield maker, $45 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Iphone 12 Ceramic Shield
Iphone 12 Ceramic Shield (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has awarded Corning $45 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund.
  • Corning designed the Ceramic Shield used on the iPhone 12 lineup.

Apple today announced (opens in new tab) that it has awarded glass maker Corning $45 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund. Corning is the company that provided the precision glass used in iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad.

Corning is also the company that was able to design the Ceramic Shield used on the iPhone 12 lineup, thanks in part to Apple's investment.

Corning has already received $450 million from Apple's $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund over the last four years. Apple's investment helps support more than 1,000 jobs across Corning's US operations in Kentucky and other facilities. The investment has also helped facilitate research and development into state-of-the-art glass processes, which led to the creation of Ceramic Shield, a new material that is tougher than any smartphone glass.

Corning and Apple already have a strong relationship and it's no surprise that the iPhone maker continues to help fund the research carried out by a key partner.

Today's announcement comes less than a week after Apple also confirmed it was giving II-VI a cool $410 million from the same fund.

Apple describes the Advanced Manufacturing Fund thus:

Apple supports 2.7 million jobs across all 50 states and recently announced plans to add 20,000 jobs across the country while contributing more than $430 billion to the US economy over the next five years. Apple's $430 billion US investments include working with more than 9,000 suppliers and companies large and small across dozens of sectors, including silicon engineering, 5G, and manufacturing. Apple established its Advanced Manufacturing Fund in 2017 to support world-class innovation and high-skilled manufacturing jobs across the US. Awards from the $5 billion fund have led to breakthrough innovations, from supporting the development of advanced laser technology in Texas, to accelerating the supply of Covid-19 sample collection kits for US hospitals, and more.

All eyes will now be on Corning to see what it can use that $45 million for. Apple's iPhones are known to be surprisingly difficult to crack at times but they do scratch surprisingly easily as a result.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.