The Corning Connection

August 13, 2007

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in August 2007.

I heard an interesting story this weekend that I hadn’t heard before: Why the the iPhone has a glass screen, who makes it, and how it came into being. The kernel of the tale is this:

Steve scratches his iPhone at a game. Steve demands glass, and Apple’s engineers can’t make it happen. They’ve tried, called everyone in Japan, Germany, China and elsewhere. Nobody’s making glass with the right combination of thin, hard, transmissive, and able to be shaped and cut to precise shapes/specifications. Finally Steve personally phones the CEO of Corning, and after convincing him that it’s actually Steve Jobs, he says he’ll call back in 15.

15 minutes later, he returns Steve’s call and says they’ve got some prototype glass that’s not quite ready for the market yet, but maybe things can be worked out.

Things do get worked out, and Steve doesn’t have to make good on his threat to stop the launch of the iPhone.

Not sure if this story has any truth to it, but it’s certainly interesting. I wonder if/when/ever this will be noted in Corning’s quarterly reports.