Corning’s Gorilla Glass got famous for being the tough, scratch-resistant front screen covering material on Apple’s original iPhone. Then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs talked Corning CEO Wendell Weeks into producing production quantities of the stuff, the legend goes, and now, it’s been featured on over 1 billion devices worldwide, the company announced in its quarterly earnings release.
Gorilla Glass is in larger part responsible for Apple’s feat of dazzling the world with a touchscreen phone that could even survive a tango in your pocket with a set of keys, and still come out looking like a champ. And now it’s virtually everywhere: Acer, Asus Nokia, Dell, HP, HTC, LG, Lenovo, Sony, all use it, and the list goes on.
So what’s that done for Corning’s overall fortunes? Well, in 2011, it neared $700 million in sales, and in Q3 sales alone for 2012 Gorilla Glass totalled $363 million, up 21 percent year over year.
But it’s not all roses, overall sales were up 7 percent from Q2 to $2.04 billion, but down 2 percent year over year, and the company may cut jobs in an effort to reduce costs thanks to weaknesses in its telecommunications and environmental tech divisions.
Gorilla Glass is clearly a key revenue driver for Corning going forward, and it also discussed its upcoming Willow Glass product in the release, which is an “ultra-slim flexible glass” designed to change what’s possible in creating consumer electronic devices. As Corning previous showed off in a video, Willow glass could dramatically improve LCD and OLED panel production, as well as drastically change the shape of future smartphone designs, since it makes curved glass surfaces much easier, and eventually, more affordable to produce.