Corning forecasts three-year wait for flexible glass gadgets

Corning is a very old company having been around for 161 years now. The company supplies glass and other items to some of the largest companies in the technology world, including Apple. Recently some of the most consistent rumors for Apple devices have been concerning the iWatch smartwatch.

That watch has been tipped to have a curved glass screen. Before a device with a curved screen can come to market, glass suppliers have to be able to provide flexible glass. Corning has announced that it sees a three-year wait before companies start making flexible display units using its Willow glass material.

Willow glass is a type of glass that is made in a roll in a method similar to how a news press works. The flexible glass will allow manufacturers to create curved or flexible displays. Corning also notes that it is currently producing the glass and is putting forth "a lot of effort" to teach "very big name" customers how to handle the glass rolls.

Considering that Corning is a supplier for Apple, and Apple is trying to make a curved screen watch, you have to wonder if one of the first products we see using Willow glass might be the iWatch. A Corning executive did say that the company's Willow glass would be used in some similar products this year such as a flexible barrier for solar panels or a thin film behind some touch panels. The executive noted that samples of Willow glass were sent to makers of smartphones, tablets, and TVs last summer.

[via Bloomberg]