Apple’s Sapphire Supplier Files for Bankruptcy
While it’s not totally clear in terms of cause and effect, some more light may have been shed on the situation behind Apple’s use of sapphire crystal in its devices. Today, GT Advanced Technologies, the firm supplying Apple with sapphire crystal for its displays, filed for bankruptcy protection. As a post on CNET points out, this comes “less than a year after it signed a $578 million deal to supply Apple with sapphire goods.”
GT Advanced Technologies’ deal with Apple from last year led many to believe that the iPhone 6 would be outfitted with sapphire crystal displays – and we even saw video evidence to support that notion. But then Tim Cook debuted the new smartphone last month and there were no sapphire displays to be found – except on the forthcoming Apple Watch.
Rumors swirled leading up to the iPhone 6 reveal, as well as weeks after, that issues regarding the production of the sapphire crystal displays led to its removal from the iPhone 6 plans. This bankruptcy filing could certainly be the result of GT Advanced not getting the huge order of displays that they perhaps had discussed with Apple last November when they’d signed the deal. As of not, it’s not entirely clear how a company flush with Apple cash could file for bankruptcy so soon afterward, but something definitely went south between then and now.
Tom Gutierrez, CEO of GT Advanced Technologies, offered a statement on the filing:
“Today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business. Rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on stronger footing…and improve our balance sheet.”
Will things turn around next year when the sapphire laden Apple Watches begin to roll off the assembly line? What role did Apple play in the circumstances that led to this filing – and will they play a role in helping GT out of the hole they’re in now?
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