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Corning Inc. mum on subject of electronic text readers

Post Time:Jul 20,2009Classify:Company NewsView:342

So far this year, Corning Inc. has announced agreements to provide several customers with its flat-panel display glass and other major products.

In the most recent disclosure on July 7, the Twin Tiers' largest employer said it will provide glass for some Samsung Electronics mobile phones.

Not a surprise, since Corning Inc. has a long-term relationship with Samsung, including a joint venture producing flat-panel glass in South Korea.

That was preceded on May 27 by Corning's announcement that it will provide glass for the Dell Adamo, a newly released notebook computer.

Three weeks earlier, on May 4, the Fortune 500 company announced an agreement to supply green lasers to Microvision for use in accessories that can turn cell phones and other devices into multimedia projectors.

Back in March, the company said it had been chosen to produce the secondary mirror blank for a major new telescope being built in Chile.

The list could go on. There's nothing unusual about Corning Inc., or any other company, trumpeting its successes.

There's one area, however, in which Corning Inc. -- which dominates the global display glass market -- isn't trumpeting any successes.

That's the market for glass used in the display of electronic text readers such as the Amazon Kindle and its competitors.

For some reason, Corning doesn't want to talk about its success or lack thereof in penetrating the electronic text reader market.

Asked whether it provides glass for the devices, Corning Inc. spokeswoman Sarah Horvath said that for competitive reasons, the company won't talk about its role in the market.

That raises a number of questions.

Does Corning Inc. have any customers in the electronic text reader market?

If it does, why is it unwilling to talk about them?

Is it trying to break into the market without letting its competitors know which manufacturers it is pitching?

Does it consider the market insignificant in the whole flat-panel glass universe?

Do its customers, if it has any, prefer not to be identified?

Given Corning's silence on the question, there's no way to tell.

I'd be surprised, however, if the company that broadened our view of the universe with telescope mirror blanks and helped revolutionize the global communications system with optical fiber isn't involved in the cutting-edge reading technology represented by devices such as Kindle.

Corning Inc. hasn't survived for 158 years by shying away from emerging technologies.

It's unlikely it will do so with text readers as they go mainstream with upscale customers in the next decade.

Source: CorningAuthor: shangyi

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