Apple awards $45 million to longtime glass manufacturing partner Corning

Over the last several years Apple has invested $450 million into Corning's Harrodsburg, Ky.-based manufacturing plant.

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Apple announced Monday that glass supplier Corning will receive $45 million as part of the Cupertino tech giant's Advanced Manufacturing Fund. Over the last several years Apple has invested $450 million into Corning's Harrodsburg, Ky.-based manufacturing plant. 

Corning is a long-time Apple partner and its durable Gorilla Glass has been used on iPhones and iPads since the very beginning. Apple said the latest investment will go toward Corning's research and development and state-of-the-art glass processing, including its ongoing production of Ceramic Shield, the new glass on the iPhone 12 lineup that uses nano-ceramic crystals for high durability. 

"Apple and Corning have a long history of working together to accomplish the impossible," said Apple COO Jeff Williams. "From the very first iPhone glass, to the revolutionary Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 12 lineup, our collaboration has changed the landscape of smartphone cover design and durability. Ceramic Shield is a prime example of the technologies that are possible when deep innovation meets the power of American manufacturing."

Apple launched its manufacturing fund in 2017 as a way to support "a new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the US," and Corning was the first beneficiary. Last month, Apple announced an expanded $430 billion investment package in its US operations, along with plans to add an additional 20,000 new jobs across the country over the next five years. The investment marked an expansion of a $350 billion investment and jobs plan that Apple announced in 2018.

As part of the investments, the Cupertino tech giant will spend around $1 billion on a new campus and engineering hub in North Carolina's Research Triangle area.

Last week, Apple announced a new $410 million manufacturing award for II-VI, a manufacturer of optical technology. II-VI manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) that help power Face ID, Memoji, Animoji, and Portrait mode selfies. Apple also works with II-VI to manufacture lasers used in the LiDAR scanner.