Apple’s new “head of design” tells behind the scenes of creating glass for the iPhone screen

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It is not news that Corning is one of Apple’s longtime partners. It was she who created the glass which, since 2007, equips iPhones. But it could have been different.

In the video below, Jeff Williams (Apple COO and future in charge of the design team after Jony Ive left the company) tells a very interesting story about Corning’s creation of glass and how it changed the industry as a whole.

The episode itself is not new – we have already commented on the history of Corning’s creation of this glass. But the video (from 2017, when Apple invested $ 200 million in Corning – and for that reason this “ceremony” took place at the company’s factory) is still interesting, as it shows how things could have been if Steve Jobs didn’t take your stubbornness to the extreme.

That’s because, as the COO said, in the original presentation of the iPhone (at WWDC 2007) the device did not have a glass screen. The idea was to launch the product with a plastic screen exactly the same as those that equipped the iPods of the time. The problem is that, on iPods, the display only occupied a small space in front of the device; on the iPhone, the proposal was completely different and the device was basically a screen – remember that before 2007, phones were completely different and that the arrival of the iPhone with a 3.5 inch screen (without a physical keyboard) was something unthinkable!

After the remarkable WWDC 2007 keynote, when the late ex-CEO revealed the iPhone to the delight of the audience and the disbelief of competitors (like RIM), he revealed to his team that everything on the iPhone was working as it should, but that a something was bothering him: the plastic screen was getting all scratched after some time in his pocket (along with other things, for example, keys).

Williams then said that they had tested everything that is material and that, in 3-4 years, it would probably be possible to use some glass on the screen – but that, at the moment, the solution was really plastic and that there was not much that do.

Jobs, of course, didn’t like it at all and said the iPhone would have to be sold with a glass screen. And yes, the original iPhone, which would hit stores shortly after that discussion! It is that kind of pressure (which for some is what differentiated Apple and which, for others, was nothing more than an inhuman demand from a CEO with little concern for the mental health of his subordinates) that only Jobs was able to create and make happen .

Weeks / months later, there was the iPhone with a glass completely new development by Corning, inaugurating a market until then dormant and that today is basically dominated by the American company that supplies Gorilla Glass to several manufacturers.

via The Loop