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Apple investing $200 million in “Gorilla Glass” maker Corning

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Apple has announced its first Advanced Manufacturing Fund investment.

The iPhone maker is investing $200 million in one of its main suppliers, Corning Incorporated, a New York-based manufacturer of glass, ceramics.

The investment will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs and state-of-the-art glass processing, Apple said.

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Since 2007, Corning’s facility in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, has helped create the cover glass found on iOS devices.

The 65-year-old Harrodsburg facility will be the focus of Apple’s investment.

Corning developed Gorilla Glass, a brand of specialized toughened glass, first used in the iPhone, designed to be thin, light and damage-resistant.

According to Apple, since the inception of Gorilla Glass in 2007, the partnership between the two companies has “created and sustained nearly 1,000 US jobs across Corning’s R&D, manufacturing and commercial functions.”

“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.

“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.”

“Corning’s longstanding relationship with Apple has not only led to significant glass innovations that have enabled new capabilities for consumers, it has also helped create nearly 1,000 American jobs and allowed us to continue growing and expanding in the US,” said Wendell P. Weeks, Corning’s chairman, chief executive officer and president.

“This investment will ensure our plant in Harrodsburg remains a global center of excellence for glass technology.”