Gorilla Glass 3 May be Headed to Apple Products
Glass manufacturer Corning (NYSE: GLW) has unveiled its latest glass technology ahead of next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to Apple Insider. Included is the new Gorilla Glass 3, which is a more scratch-resistant, stronger version of that used in iPhones and iPads.
If the California tech giant incorporates it into its products, it will certainly be a welcome relief to butterfingered Apple fanboys. For better or worse, phones and other gadgets are in the hands of consumers more than ever before. The chances of damaging drops increase accordingly, making a strong glass an important asset to have.
With a manufacturer of Apple's magnitude likely to be on the order list, the new Gorilla Glass 3 may seem like a sure hit.
Of course, Apple isn't the only company that uses Gorilla Glass. According to Corning's website, over 33 companies use it on more than 900 models. These include major manufacturers like Dell (NASDAQ: Dell), HP (NYSE: HPQ), LG, Motorola, Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Samsung (OTC: SSNLF), as well as Sony (NYSE: SNE) and others. Overall, more than one billion devices use this glass.
However, investors may wish to take a hard look at Corning before boarding the ship for several reasons.
Despite the widespread use and claims of durability, the New York State glassmaker's Gorilla Glass hasn't built a strong stock price.
On August 1, 2010 -- the date the first news story on this product reached the public -- the company's share price closed at well over $18.
By the end of the month, it was down to just over $15 and has been on a roller coaster ever since. As of this writing, the share price is a bit over $12.
Also, some companies are considering a move away from glass in favor of plastic, notably Samsung.
According to the New York Daily News, the Seoul-based electronics manufacturer plans to release all-plastic phones and tablets sometime during the first half of this year. The company has touted the products as “Unbreakable” due to their flexible plastic displays, as noted by the New York Daily News. If they are right, Corning's Gorilla Glass could face tougher competition than ever before and be rendered obsolete.
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