Flexible glass manufacturer Corning claims that its technology will not be ready for use in complex products until 2016.
Apple's new iPhone 5 smartphone is on display in an Apple store, on September 21, 2012 in Paris. Rumors are rife that the company is working on a smartwatch.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Corning's president, James Clappin, said of its potentially revolutionary Willow Glass product: "People are not accustomed to glass you roll up. The ability of people to take it and use it to make a product is limited." Therefore, he believes that making something as complex as a smartwatch with its flexible glass will take another three years.
In February, a patent application filed by Apple in 2011 was published, detailing a wrist-worn flexible display watch that wraps around the user's wrist. However, a patent application -- or even a granted patent -- and an end product are not the same thing. Apple isn't formally listed as a Corning client, although Corning is the go-to manufacturer for display glass. Its Gorilla Glass product, the best, strongest and most shatter-resistant on the market, is an essential element of every high-end tablet and smartphone built over the past five years, the iPhone included, even if the relationship two companies' relationship isn't officially acknowledged.
This admission doesn't mean that reports of an Apple smartwatch are not without merit, although it does mean that if the company is to launch a device this year, it is highly unlikely to reflect the one detailed in its patent application.
But, even as one rumor is debunked, more rumors spring up to take its place. The latest claims that Apple will return to the white polycarbonate casing it used to employ in its now defunct MacBook range in order to build an affordable iPhone for launch this summer.
That of course is on top of the television, phablet and totally redesigned iPad it also has planned for the coming year.