Flexy 'iWatch' glass said to be three years away
But buck up, fanbois: There are other rumors to lift your spirits
If you're jonesing to slap down a chunk o' change for a flexible Apple iWatch, you've got plenty of time to save up – products using the requisite flexy glass won't appear until 2016.
According to Apple's all-but-certain iPhone glass supplier, Corning, companies won't start manufacturing products using their flexible Willow glass for at least three years, reports Bloomberg.
"People are not accustomed to glass you roll up," James Clappin, the president of Corning Glass Technologies (CGT), said in an interview. "The ability of people to take it and use it to make a product is limited."
CGT is the division of glass, ceramic, plastic, and equipment–maker Corning that manufactures Gorilla Glass, the hardened material used in a wide variety of mobile devices.
Oh-so-secretive Apple is not listed among Gorilla Glass customers, but the company notes that "Due to customer agreements, we cannot identify all devices that feature Gorilla Glass," and the evidence that one of those unnamed devices is the iPhone is rather strong. At minimum, CGT is likely supplying Apple with a glass that is, shall we say, simian-like.
A three-year wait for flexible Willow glass would mean that the fanbois fervor engendered by the US Patent and Trademark Office's recent publication of an Apple flexible, snap-on "iWatch" patent application will need to be put on hold for a couple of years.
Simple products made from Willow glass, however, will likely begin to appear as early as this year, Corning CFO James Flaws has said, and CGT sent product samples to manufacturers of phones, tablets, and televisions last June.
But turning Willow into a flexible display that can snap around your wrist, as the aforementioned iWatch patent requires, will take some time. Until then, if you're dying for an Apple wristwatch, you still have the rumor that Apple and Foxconn are collaborating on a curved watch – and those rumors didn't mention snap-on flexibility.
Or it's even possible that Apple has a secret sweetheart deal with CGT, and will beat all other device manufacturers to the flexy-glass punch. If that's the case, you might be able to snap an iWatch onto your wrist before 2016.
Maybe. As is ever the case with things Cupertinian, it's up to you, dear reader, to pick the rumor that you wish to believe. ®
One thing for certain...
The first i one will be shit, followed by a miraculously revolutionary version 2...3....
4 will be particularly cool I hear...
etc etc, no thanks.
RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead
You can never know what to expect. When I was a kid a personal computer, cell phone and the internet were all unknown to me. Sure I am only 33 but looking back I can't believe how much we've progressed. And what is funny is I never saw any of it coming. And I certainly feel silly that I didn't see phones/tablets replacing personal computer for a lot of people. Never would I have imagined.
Re: 4 x RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead
And I used punch tape. So what's you point?
Re: RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead
@rcorrect reminisces - "When I was a kid a personal computer, cell phone and the internet were all unknown to me."
Hah, whippersnapper. When I was a kid, microprocesor chips, touch tone phones and arpanet were all unknown.
Re: One thing for certain...
I think you'll find that the first one will be absolutely magical, as people will be able to tell the time *using a device attached to their wrist* no less, for the first time ever.
No doubt those pesky rip off merchants at Casio will then try and claim that they had a digital watch some decades ago, but I'm sure the heroic Apple Patent Enforcement Legion will rewri- I mean, "clarify" the history books to show the true restrospective scope of the late Steve Jobs' genius.
I also can't wait for the inevitable "on a wrist-bound device" amendments to patents for every single idea everyone has ever had.