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Corning Gorilla Glass 2 to debut at CES 2012: Will latest innovation be on iPad 3 or iPhone 5?

Corning Inc., announced today its plan to unveil Gorilla Glass 2 at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, and the company said more product details would be made available Jan. 9.

The Corning, N.Y.-based company plans to “showcase the critical role of highly engineered specialty glass in addressing emerging trends” at CES 2012. Some of the highlights include increased functionality from smaller form factors; connected devices in new applications; touch technology; and, large-format design aesthetics.

However, the main attraction to the Corning booth will be the introduction of Gorilla Glass 2, which is the next generation of the damage-resistant cover glass found on practically every consumer electronic today. CES attendees will have access to Corning experts and products featuring the latest Gorilla Glass applications.

The timely debut of Gorilla Glass 2 comes just before the rumored early-2012 launch of the iPad 3, as well as the rumored summer-to-fall launch of the iPhone 5, leaving room for Apple to include the latest technology on its upcoming devices.

Although not confirmed, it is worth speculating whether Corning supplied Apple, before today’s announcement, with Gorilla Glass 2 for iOS device production. The idea does not seem far-fetched considering the nature of both companies’ relationship…

Steve Jobs’ official biography by Walter Isaacson revealed the initial interactions between the Apple cofounder and Corning Glass prior to creating the resilient display for iPhones.

Apparently, Corning developed a chemical exchange process for Gorilla Glass in the 1960s, but the company did not have a reason or a place to produce the innovation. Then, as everyone knows by now, someone showed the glass to Jobs a few years ago, and the technology wizard immediately seized the idea for use on his touchscreen devices.

Jobs offered to buyout all the Gorilla Glass that Corning could supply, but Corning’s plants were not capable of manufacturing the glass. In typical Jobs’ fashion, the Apple CEO persisted and forced Corning to divert resources on Gorilla Glass to meet his demand in less than six months.

These days, Apple buys as much Gorilla Glass as the manufacturer can produce, and the material is currently on more than 575 gadgets spanning 500 million units worldwide. In total, over 30 globally popular brands use Gorilla Glass for their products.

“Corning Gorilla Glass has been a tremendous success for Corning, enjoying excellent market acceptance across mobile device industries. Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs,” said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager of Corning Specialty Materials, in a statement. “Corning’s latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration.”

Gorilla Glass featured in action during product testing.

Aside from debuting Gorilla Glass 2, the Corning booth at CES will “explore the benefits of Corning Gorilla Glass in larger format, touch displays for education, entertainment, auto, and home appliance applications featuring new design possibilities,” according to the company’s press release.

The new design possibilities specifically mentioned by Corning include an 82-inch multi-touch LCD display, touch-enabled automobile interior, home appliance center simulators, and a Gorilla Glass-covered video wall with fabricated sound speakers that projects the latest Corning technology news.

Corning’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Peter Bocko will also be featured at CES as a panelist in the “Beyond the Flat Screen” session Jan. 12 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the latest advances in “screen resolution, viewing angle, sunlight performance, and power consumption in an effort to isolate new products and opportunities.”

The CES debut of Gorilla Glass 2 should be captivating for attendees; Corning’s latest technology must pack a powerful punch to justify a second version release, and the company is surely apt to demonstrate its effectiveness at the show’s booth.

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