GT Advanced (furnaces, Pocketnow 001)

Apple partner GT Advanced has asked the court’s permission to “wind down” operations at its manufacturing plant, reports Recode. The news comes less than a year after GT announced its high-profile deal to make sapphire for Apple, and just a few days after it filed for bankruptcy.

On Monday, the company shocked investors by announcing that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It’s believed that GT spent most of its cash trying to produce sapphire display covers in time for the iPhone 6, but fell short of expectations and lost out on the order.

Apple and GT Advanced announced their partnership last fall, which involved a $578 million loan to GT to get a large sapphire plant up and running in Arizona. Little else is known about the deal, but it was just reported that Apple withheld its final $139 million payment on the loan.

This story continues to get weirder by the day, with GT requesting that its court documents be sealed and its hearing be closed off from the public. Additionally, its CEO is being investigated for insider trading, for selling a large amount of stock just days ahead of the iPhone 6 unveiling.

Apple, for its part, says it was surprised by the bankruptcy announcement, and that it’s been working with GT to solve technical problems so it can move forward, and release the final $140 million payment. It also notes that it’s working with Arizona officials to save jobs at the factory.

GT’s request to shut down its sapphire plant will be heard by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff on October 15 in Massachusetts.

[Recode]

  • jp2002

    All started with wrong decisions in apple.

  • Mark

    Apple should take over and create their own sapphire crystal

    • Yash Gorana

      They already have their technology. Thus they *are* creating their own sapphire crystal.

  • hkgsulphate

    just, what happened?

  • Omar Sharif

    So no more Sapphire for Apple Watch ?

    • Alex Ruski

      they probably already have all the Sapphire they need for a long run

    • Don Walker II

      They aren’t Apple’s only Sapphire crystal supplier.

  • @dongiuj

    From a business point of view apple probably saw this coming. A company like apple would have researched about a company it plans to use. That’s probably why apple held back on the cash knowing that the company was heading for trouble enabling apple to snap it up at a fraction of what the company use to be valued at and then enabling apple you save loads on future production while still keeping the same retail price thus making even more ridiculous profits. Apple may not have had any intention of using Safire screens this time round and waiting just for the right time to catch its prey for future products.
    Just my theory obviously. I could be completely wrong as I don’t really know anything about this kind of thing but I wouldn’t put anything past big corporate businesses and their sneaky financial plans.

    • Rowan09

      I don’t think Apple wants to buy this company or they would have done so without the loan. I don’t believe they would want to scare suppliers into believing they would do this kind of business. This company failed because of bad management, but I’m surprise they are closing down the Sapphire business.

      • @dongiuj

        And then apple steps in as the Good Samaritan just so other companies don’t suspect anything? I’m not saying it happened but like I said, I wouldn’t put it past any big corporate company. Apple for sure have an excellent financial and legal team along with the finances to make appealing offers/solutions to any smaller company. Again, it’s just a theory and one I think is very probable for a rich company like apple. Yes, I could be completely wrong, I know and wouldn’t be surprised either way.

      • Rowan09

        They won’t look like a Good Samaritan because it would be all over the news that they planned on them failing. I see no value in GT Advance for Apple to purchase the company. They couldn’t keep up a contract and is now blaming Apple for why they filed bankruptcy. The CEO should go to jail for insider trading (sold all his shares before the 6 announcement). Apple usually just purchased smaller companies they see value in and GT Advance doesn’t do anything exclusive or better than any other sapphire maker.

      • @dongiuj

        Really? I read that GT Advance and maybe one or two other companies were the only ones that had the facilities to produce the amount of sapphire glass required for apple. That’s one thing better than other sapphire makers the reason apparently that apple used them. As for value, if apple were to buy it then it would be of value to them, no?

      • Rowan09

        GT Advance couldn’t produce the panels Apple needed for the phones and the quality as we saw wasn’t good since they would break easily. I gave my opinion of not seeing any value because they couldn’t get a job done, so I don’t see why Apple would need to purchase them. Apple usually purchase companies and integrate them into their ecosystem, but GT Advance in my opinion of course doesn’t look like a company Apple would purchase (especially since they couldn’t hold up a contract).

    • Kurt

      I thought Apple must have givien them such a bad deal that they couldn’t go on.

      • Rowan09

        No they loan them money to get the job started but they couldn’t get it done.

  • Chindavon

    This company gets shadier by the minute.

  • justme

    mmm this smells like someone at GT is playing nasty under the water and trying to get many money about this… just saying…
    Steve had killed all of them with his screams of fury jeje

  • sosarozay300

    wow rip to my dreams of a sapphire iphone 6s

    • There are still other companies that can fulfill your dreams for Apple.

    • Yash Gorana

      Apple had signed $578M sapphire deal with GT Advanced which included – Providing sapphire to apple + owning their patents.

      So basically this is just a tactic i guess:
      1.Shut down the plant.
      2.Get $$$
      3.Construct a new plant in Cupertino
      4.Make Sapphire
      5.???
      6.PROFIT

      • Don Walker II

        Lol Step 5

  • Alberto Espinal

    Why apple don’t buy the damn thing

  • Ian Leon

    Only Steve could pull off reality distortion