One ways the mobile device and LCD manufacturers can save money is by aggressively controlling the cost of the materials used in the construction of their products. One very common product used in the construction of all sorts of displays in mobile devices is Gorilla Glass from Corning. A deal has reportedly taken place between one of Samsung’s divisions and Corning that sees Samsung gain 7.4% of Corning.
Corning has reportedly taken control of Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co. Ltd., which was a joint venture between Corning and Samsung where Samsung owned 43%. Corning took full control of the joint venture by giving Samsung about $1.9 billion worth of preferred shares in Corning. If those preferred shares worth converted, Samsung would own about 7.4% of Corning.
Samsung and Corning have also signed a long-term supply agreement that will see Samsung Display continue to use Corning products through 2023. Several high-end smartphone makers in the industry use Corning Gorilla Glass.
Gorilla Glass is used by Apple, HTC, and Motorola. Since Samsung is one of the biggest brands in the smartphone industry, I can’t imagine other smartphone makers are happy about the deal giving Samsung ownership of at least some of Corning, and potentially a better price for materials.