The company making ‘Gorilla Glass,’ the tough material used by iPhones and iPads, today announced a 25 percent drop in sales due to lower demand for tablets. Corning cut its outlook after saying it will increase LCD glass production by just 5% to 10% instead of the expected 20% or more.
Sale of Gorilla Glass will fall 25 percent compared to the previous quarter, below the 15 percent fall-off Wall Street expected. Corning attributes the decline to “lower worldwide demand for cover glass for tablet computers.” The decline in Gorilla Glass could be directly tied to the trouble Android-based tablets have had competing against the iPad.
The company announced Samsung Corning Precision Materials, a joint venture with Korean-based Samsung Electronics, would produce just 5 percent to 10 percent more glass than the previous quarter. It is intriguing that while Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet uses Gorilla Glass, the Galaxy Nexus smartphone apparently does not. Apple has had a measure of success stymying Samsung’s tablet throughout the world.
Another potential user of the Corning Glass was RIM’s PlayBook tablet, which never gained any traction against the iPad. Unknown is whether Amazon’s Kindle Fire, one of the first non-iPad tablets to approach the popularity of Apple, employs Gorilla Glass.