Apple says its plan to manufacture sapphire crystals with GT Advanced was too ambitious

Apple says its plan to manufacture sapphire crystals with GT Advanced was too ambitious
The surprising bankruptcy filing of GT Advanced has become the most publicized and dissected bankruptcy in some time. Imagine what the press would have been like had New York City gone bankrupt after President Ford told the Big Apple to "Drop Dead". So why did GT Advanced go bankrupt? Some blame the $139 million payment that Apple held back because GT failed to hit a specific milestone. The failure of Apple to make that payment led GT Advanced's cash position to fall under a certain level. Apple could then have demanded the repayment of the previous $440 million it lent to GT Advanced. The only way to prevent this was for the latter to file for Chapter 11.

But there might be another reason for the Chapter 11 filing. An Apple spokeswoman said on Thursday that both Apple and GT Advanced were too early with a manufacturing process for the sapphire crystals, that were supposed to be produced at the Mesa facility that both firms had set up. Apple says that it will work with the city of Mesa and Maricopa County to help find jobs for those laid off by GT Advanced after the Chapter 11 filing.


In the immediate aftermath of the introduction of the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus, when everyone realized that there was no sapphire glass display on either model, the original blame was put on the finishers (Biel and Lens Technologies) for the low yield (25%) that prevented the material from being used on the displays of the two new iPhone models. But as it turns out, that was only part of the story after all.

source: Recode via BGR

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14 Comments

1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

I don't think that ambitious is the right words. Maybe they realize that if they'll go with Sapphire they're gonna have to put an insane price tag on their device which right now is what's happening. Even though people can still buy it but putting another $1000 on it will questioned the relevance of Sapphire.

2. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Apple has 100 billion in the bank. They could do it at a reasonable price if they really wanted too without raising the cost at all.

6. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Please, that 100 billion is for the investors and shareholders, like Tim Cook, and iCahn. It isn't for R&D or something ridiculous like that.

9. Peace

Posts: 23; Member since: May 22, 2014

Some people think that they gather the money and throw it over their heads. I know how painful is to deal with uneducated people man!

14. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Speaking of uneducated....I think we have a winner here.

13. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Please. Those assets are liquid. They can request a bigger overhead and r and d budget. And they can restructure. What do you think will happen if the idiots right now feeding them money wise up and stop filling their bank accounts? They would have to restructure. Selling your products for less could go a long ways to preventing them from taking it hard like Sony is doing right now during their eventually fall. And if r and d is ridiculous, why would you support a company that thinks that way?

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Actually ambitious is probably an accurate characterization. Sapphire for large displays is more of a niche application, with yield problems presenting in greater volume as display size increases. I think Sapphire being viable for volume production of smartphone displays is a bit further down the road. Corning has been very effective at making the point that Gorilla Glass is almost as hard as Sapphire, with none of the downside of Sapphire. Net-net, I suspect Sapphire for a smartphone display was a bridge too far. It is unfortunate that a bunch of talented employees are now out of work through no fault of their own.

7. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm positive the problem was that the sapphire was too brittle at the size to thickness ratio Apple wanted (not to mention its less clear). They want to make paper thin phones, and the sapphire at that thinness was failing drop tests badly.

12. Dr.Hye

Posts: 95; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Then how come samsung was able to do it with no trouble or problems. Speak about in ovation irony. The so called innovative company in the world has highered the so called uninnovative company the company that assumablely copies apple or other companies. Has made a manufacturing plant that can produce these preshus sapphire displays for Apple.

3. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Apple and ambitious? Does not compute. Lol

5. plumix

Posts: 75; Member since: Aug 28, 2014

but they used saphire to market the phone via website's, now almost every one thinks that their iphone 6 use saphyr glass, I laugh my ass everytime some serv me this !

8. alumoyo

Posts: 391; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

Normally I hate those Steve Jobs comparisons but in this case, I wonder if he couldn't have pushed these guys to get results. He had a knack for that, as opposed to Tim Cooks more Democratic approach. I think a dictatorial customer like Jobs would have had them jumping around ad moving heaven and earth to get the work done. I read a few weeks ago that when Jobs went to Corning to get new glass for the original iPhone, the type of which he wanted simply did not exist but he pushed them and they managed to produce Gorilla Glass using techniques which had been frozen in development but had not been tested or put into market.

10. VHMP01

Posts: 93; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

So basically another Apple flop that iFans will defend! iBending, iColouring, iSapphire Not, iCrash now, etc. But, but, but, it's about Apple's Profits... Precisely, iTrash at highest prices!

11. Rydsmith unregistered

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