Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is awarding Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) $250 million to support the company’s continued work developing glass for iPhones and other Apple devices. The grant is coming from Apple’s $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, designed to support domestic manufacturing and job creation.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a release, “This award underscores Apple and Corning’s shared belief in the vital role that ingenuity plays in creating industry-leading products, and the pride that both companies take in applying American innovation and advanced manufacturing to solve some of the world’s toughest technology challenges.”
Corning’s plant in Harrodsburg has been part of the central Kentucky community for more than 65 years and is Corning’s longest-running U.S.-based manufacturing facility. Its technology development and manufacturing operations employs about 400 people. The plant has made scratch-resistant glass for every generation of iPhone, as well as supplying glass for iPads and Apple Watches.
The partnership between Apple and Corning has lasted for more than a decade. When former Apple CEO Steve Jobs decided that the plastic screen on the company’s first iPhone should be replaced with scratch-resistant glass, Corning was tapped for the job. Just last week, Apple introduced a trio of new iPhone models that feature what the company calls the strongest glass ever put into a smartphone.
Corning received $200 million from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund in 2017. The company also awarded $390 million to 3D-sensing component supplier Finisar in December 2017 and granted a $10 million award to a joint venture between aluminum giants Alcoa and Rio Tinto called Elysis. So far, Apple now deployed over $1 billion of the $5 billion that was allocated.