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Apple to Part Ways With Sapphire Provider

by Todd Haselton | October 22, 2014October 22, 2014 7:30 am PST

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GT Advanced Technologies, Apple’s primary supplier of sapphire that recently filed for bankruptcy, is breaking off its relationship with Cupertino. The news follows GT Advanced Technologies’ recent plans to shutter two factories, including the highly publicized plant in Arizona, and lay off more than 800 employees.

GT Advanced Technologies recently accused Apple of imposing “oppressive and burdensome terms and obligations,” on the company, which said that it had to tweak its entire business model after working out a deal to manufacture sapphire for Apple.

Ultimately, that model wasn’t sustainable and GT Advanced Technologies found itself filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy to handle the debt. That’s the story, in any case, but the company won’t go on the record with any details for fear of owing Apple a $50 million fine for breach of privacy.

The Wall Street Journal, which reported on the split-up on Wednesday, cited an attorney who said the divorce was “amicable.” GT Advanced Technologies will sell some of the furnaces in its sapphire plant in Arizona to help pay its debt to Apple.

Apple still promises the Apple Watch, which employs sapphire from GT Advanced Technologies, will ship in early 2015.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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