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Apple's sapphire crystal provider files for bankruptcy

Apple's sapphire crystal provider files for bankruptcy

October 6, 2014

GT Advanced Technologies, the company Apple has tasked with producing sapphire crystal for the Apple Watch, has filed for bankruptcy. The Chapter 11 filing means that the company can continue to do business as it attempts to negotiate with creditors.

In a statement, the New Hampshire-based company said it has $85 million on hand as of Sept. 29. Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer of GT notes:

Today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet.

We are convinced that the rehabilitative process of chapter 11 is the best way to reorganize, protect our company and provide a path to our future success. We remain committed to our roots in innovation and our diversification strategy. We plan to continue to operate as a technology leader across our core set of businesses.

Sapphire crystal is already found in the Touch ID and camera cover on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. The material will also be used on Apple’s upcoming wearable device, on both the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition models.

For much of the year, pundits expected that sapphire crystal would be used on the display for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. That didn’t happen. There is no word on whether that omission is what caused GT to file for Chapter 11 protection.

See also A key analyst expects Cupertino to sell 10 million Apple Watches in 2015.

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