Apple’s sapphire supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, will stop making sapphire. The company had previously been a major supplier of the material that was likely being used for the Apple Watch. GT Advanced surprised the world when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month, however, and has been trying to free itself of a relationship with Apple that it called “oppressive”
Yesterday we learned the two were parting ways and that the parting was “amicable.” Today, Reuters revealed some new information on the relationship. GT Advanced Technologies will stop producing sapphire entirely, the news outlet said, but will still supply some of the “equipment” that other manufacturers might use to create sapphire. Additionally, GT Advanced Technologies will return a $439 million payment to Apple.
GT Advanced Technologies hasn’t offered a clear explanation on where its deal with Apple turned south. The company has suggested it’s afraid of a $50 million fine Apple imposes on partners who leak secrets and that, by explaining its position, it may be liable for paying it. The firm still plans to close two of its U.S.-based factories.