Corning Says Devices With Flexible 'Willow Glass' Displays Unlikely to Appear for at Least Three Years

corning_willow_glassWhile The New York Times reported earlier this month that Apple is working on a curved glass smart watch that could potentially make use of Corning's recently-announced bendable Willow Glass, Bloomberg now reports that Corning sees a wait of at least three years before devices using Willow Glass displays will be able to hit the market.

“People are not accustomed to glass you roll up,” [Corning Glass president James] Clappin said after an event marking the opening an $800 million factory for liquid-crystal-display glass. “The ability of people to take it and use it to make a product is limited.”

The Corning, New York-based company is producing the glass and making “a lot of effort” to teach “very big name” customers how to handle the spools, Clappin said, declining to elaborate. The introduction of the glass comes as companies including Google Inc. consider making wearable computing devices.

Clappin noted that Willow Glass may find its way into some simple products as soon as later this year, but that more complex applications such as flexible displays will require substantially more work before they can be brought to market. He also declined to comment on whether Corning had been in discussions with Apple about its rumored smart watch project.

Apple is already a customer of Corning, using the glassmaker's durable Gorilla Glass in its mobile devices. Corning announced its latest Gorilla Glass 3 product last month, offering three times greater scratch resistance and improved strength, and Apple is assumed to be incorporating the new glass into upcoming products.

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Top Rated Comments

HarryKeogh Avatar
147 months ago
Still waiting for completely scratch proof glass. My iPhone 5 has heaps of small scratches on the screen.

Me too. As a person who walks around with his iPhone "naked" and carries several carats of loose diamonds in the pocket of his very tight skinny jeans at all times, I need this. Take my money!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkslayer13 Avatar
147 months ago
But I REALLLYYYYY wanted to sue for getting broken glass in my wrist...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
larrybeo Avatar
147 months ago
What About The Rest of It?

Will a Willow Glass product come with a bendable Lith-Ion battery, too? What about a bendable flash drive? I'm confused what the point of a bendable screen is if the rest of the product isn't able to be flexible and bend as well.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bb426 Avatar
147 months ago
Me too. As a person who walks around with his iPhone "naked" and carries several carats of loose diamonds in the pocket of his very tight skinny jeans at all times, I need this. Take my money!

... I wish I just carried carats of diamonds in my pocket. iPhone screen scratches would be the least of my worries.

Don't know bout the very tight skinny jeans though.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bb426 Avatar
147 months ago
Still waiting for completely scratch proof glass. My iPhone 5 has heaps of small scratches on the screen.
I've had mine since day one, without a case, and use it daily. No scratches. What the hell do you do to your phone? :confused:

but you should remember that apple is always years ahead of its competitors when it launches a new category. this pattern may apply to this.
You may be surprised, but competitors are doing a good job lately appealing to consumers. I wouldn't say the proposed "iWatch" should be compared to iPhone or iPad at all either (not that you said that, but I feel like that's where you're going with this "new category" thing).

The whole watch thing will be outdated by the time Apple releases something if they don't go all out on it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ingot Avatar
147 months ago
Darn it. I wanted a new watch soon. I really did.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)