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What Might Have Been — GT Advanced to Sell Its Sapphire Furnaces

by Todd Haselton | December 24, 2014December 24, 2014 7:00 am PDT


It’s a sad day for the sapphire furnaces owned by GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT). The furnaces, once surrounded in mystery following reports of Apple’s plans for using sapphire in anything from iPhones to its Apple Watch, are officially being sold.

The move follows a bitter finger-pointing dispute between GTAT and Apple, which ultimately led to the former filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Reuters said GTAT expects each furnace to net about $500,000, which isn’t too much considering the company reportedly spent as much as $900 million to get its factory up and running in the first place. Apple had invested $578 million of that figure to help get the factory off of the ground, however.

Apple still has its eyes on sapphire, and is reportedly now working with Foxconn in an effort to produce enough of the material for its next iPhone. Let’s hope things run a bit more smoothly this time around.

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Todd Haselton

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