According to Wikipedia, Corning experimented with chemically strengthened glass in 1960, with particular use in approximately one hundred 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda racing cars, where minimum weight is essential.
In 2006, while developing the first iPhone, Apple discovered that keys placed in a pocket with the prototype could scratch its hard plastic surface, and sought a glass sufficiently scratch-resistant to eliminate the problem. Steve Jobs of Apple contacted Corning CEO Wendell Weeks, who told him of the material the company had developed in the 1960s and subsequently mothballed. Jobs convinced Weeks to produce the glass, and Corning’s factory in Harrodsburg, Kentucky supplied the screens for the product’s release in June 2007. Corning further developed the material for a variety of smartphones and other consumer electronics devices for a range of companies.
- A Story About Steve Jobs, Steel Balls and Gorilla Glass (You, with the Cracked Phone: Read This) (techland.time.com)
- Nice Timing, Gorilla Glass. Thanks. (fishandbicycles.com)
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to be three times more scratch resistant than previous generation (theverge.com)
- Corning to Debut Third-Gen Gorilla Glass Next Week (phonescoop.com)
- Corning announces Gorilla Glass 3 to be demoed at CES 2013 (phandroid.com)