Apple gives $200 million to iPhone glassmaker to promote U.S. manufacturing

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Corning employees in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
Photo: Apple

Apple has awarded Corning the first grant of its $1 billion investment aimed at boosting high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States. The glassmaker will receive $200 million.

Corning has worked with Apple for a decade — ever since the original iPhone’s Gorilla Glass — to create the glass found on its devices. Apple’s contribution as part of its “Advanced Manufacturing Fund” will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs, and state-of-the-art glass processing.

Over the past 10 years, Apple and Corning have created and maintained almost 1,000 jobs, including 400 in Corning’s home ground of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. In a move that has no doubt endeared it to the sustainability-focused Apple, Corning has also procured enough renewable energy to cover all of its Apple manufacturing in the U.S.

“Corning is a great example of a supplier that has continued to innovate and they are one of Apple’s long-standing suppliers,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “This partnership started 10 years ago with the very first iPhone, and today every customer that buys an iPhone or iPad anywhere in the world touches glass that was developed in America. We’re extremely proud of our collaboration over the years and we are investing further with Corning who has such a rich legacy of innovative manufacturing practices.”

When Tim Cook announced the $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund recently in an interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer at Apple Campus, he said the goal was to push “people to do advanced manufacturing in the United States.”

Rather than pulling from its enormous pile of overseas cash, Apple is borrowing the money for its $1 billion fund since that is cheaper than paying to repatriate its foreign money pile.

There’s no word on when Apple will announce the next recipient of its Advanced Manufacturing Fund. If a similar amount is handed out each time, however, we can expect four more companies to benefit from the cash handout.

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