Back in 2017, Apple revealed it would commit $1 billion towards the development of advanced manufacturing facilities in the US, with the ultimate goal of creating more jobs. A fifth of that investment fund went into Corning's Kentucky plant, covering costs like equipment, research and development, and glass processing.
Recently, the Cupertino company announced it will pour an additional $250 million from its $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support Corning in developing glass technology specific to Apple's needs, including "state-of-the-art glass processes, equipment and materials integral to the delivery of next-generation consumer devices."
Corning has been supplying Apple with glass for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, ever since the launch of the original iPhone and up until this year's iPhone 11 lineup. The new funding is supposed to continue that partnership and foster the production of components in the US, which is one of the biggest points of criticism directed at the company by Trump's administration.
While Apple isn't likely to make its mobile devices in the US anytime soon, the company wants to create "a new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the US." To that end, it claims to have spent over $60 billion in 2018 with 9,000 American suppliers to support 450,000 jobs across 50 states and manufacturing locations that operate in 36 states. For Corning, in particular, Apple created 1,000 jobs and spent over $3 billion since the iPhone launched in 2007.
It's worth mentioning that Apple and Corning didn't disclose the terms of the $250 million deal, but we do know the latter is hard at work developing an ultrathin, flexible glass that can bend to a 5 millimeter radius. Also, Corning is going to demo its glass technology for AR headsets at Semicon Taiwan this week. We've been hearing hints and rumors that Apple is building its own AR glasses for a while now, so here's hoping we will see "one more thing" from the company in 2020.