There’s a lot of money on the line for potential component developers and manufacturers in the mobile industry and we saw some of the intensity of Tony Tripeny, a senior vice president at Corning Glass, emerge yesterday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. Instead of simply defending their Gorilla Glass product, he decided to openly bash a competitor that is rumored to be on Apple’s list of potential providers.
“When we look at it, we see a lot of disadvantages of Sapphire versus Gorilla Glass. It’s about 10 times more expensive. It’s about 1.6 times heavier. It’s environmentally unfriendly. It takes about 100 times more energy to generate a Sapphire crystal than it does glass. It transmits less light which…means either dimmer devices or shorter battery life. It continues to break. I think while it’s a scratch resistant product it still breaks and our testing says that Gorilla Glass [can take] about 2.5 times more pressure that it can take…Sapphire on. So when we look at it, we think from an overall industry and trend that is not attractive in consumer electronics.”
The transcript of the exchange is published online by seekingalpha.com and showed how feisty Tripeny can be when the reputation of his product is on the line. What we need is a good fact checker to verify his claims because there is a good chance that the bottom line is giving him a reason to exaggerate his claims of how awful Sapphire products are.
While Apple was not specifically mentioned by Tripeny, it is clear from the transcript that Apple is the intended audience for his comments. It is obvious, however, that Apple has no interest in overpaying for components and so Tripeny’s comments on price are likely going to recognized by all as the rant that they are and probably won’t influence Apple’s decision making process.