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Apple’s Sapphire Supplier Files for Bankruptcy

by Jacob Kleinman | October 6, 2014October 6, 2014 8:00 pm PDT

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When Apple opened its own sapphire glass factory in Arizona, it partnered with GT Advanced Technologies to help speed up production. Now the company has filled for bankruptcy under chapter 11, though the decision shouldn’t have any affect on day-to-day operations.

It’s unclear exactly why GT Advanced Technologies is filing for bankruptcy, though the company could come out even stronger after it restructures and trims some fat. The sapphire-maker previously signed a contract with Apple worth $578 million, and is set to supply the displays for a good chunk of Apple Watch models when they launch early next year.

It’s worth noting that Apple was also expected to use the same synthetic sapphire glass for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus displays, but may have opted for a strengthened plastic Gorilla Glass just a few weeks before launch. We doubt that has anything to do with today’s news though, since GT Advanced Technologies should still get paid regardless of what Apple does with the sapphire it produces.

Either way it doesn’t look like Apple will stop using sapphire anytime soon. Hopefully we’ll see the company use even more of the ultra-durable material in its upcoming devices, though for now Gorilla Glass appears to do the job just fine in most cases.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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