How Corning’s crash project for Steve Jobs helped define the iPhone

Tim Bajarin, Fast Company:

About six months before the iPhone hit store shelves in 2007, Steve Jobs called Corning’s CEO, Wendell Weeks, and asked him if he could create a glass cover for a new Apple product that would resist scratches and breakage.


The original iPhone spec called for a plastic cover over the touchscreen display. The story goes that Jobs, after using a prototype iPhone for a few weeks, became very worried that the device’s display would get scratched when jumbled around in user’s pockets with keys and coins. So he gathered his engineers and demanded a new glass covering be used for the iPhone. Hence Jobs’s phone call to Weeks.


While many other smartphone makers have crowed about using Gorilla Glass, Apple has rarely (if ever) publicly acknowledged Corning as the maker of the iPhone’s glass cover.

Corning is a critical part of the iPhone’s success and the iPhone a critical part of Corning’s growth as well. If you ever find yourself in the finger lakes region of New York, take some time to stop by the Corning Museum of Glass.

And spend a few minutes with Tim Bajarin’s article, as well as this fantastic New York Times article which details the iPhone’s move, under Steve Jobs’ urgent direction, from a plastic to a Gorilla Glass screen.