Apple and State of Arizona filings have come to light today that indicate Apple is rapidly expanding its Mesa, Arizona operations and GT-Advanced sapphire crystal production. PTT Research Senior Analyst and GTAT investor Matt Margolis shared the new documents from his latest research with 9to5Mac. The first interesting piece of the filings is a letter from Apple’s Director of Global Trade Compliance James J. Patton from early July to the U.S Department of Commerce:
The letter indicates this plan for expansion by Apple as well as an “aggressive go-live timeline of August 2014.” This indicates that Apple planned to have begun production of sapphire crystal components for new iOS devices this month, and many reports have indicated that new iPhones and other Apple gear have gone into production this month. In January, Apple filings indicated an “aggressive go-live timeline of February,” but it is not confirmed if these same go-live plans were delayed by several months or if this new go-live timeline is for a separate product or components.
With the new sapphire-covered iPhones being announced next month, it seems more likely that this new “August” product is different from the iPhone. Also coming this fall is the Apple wearable, dubbed by some as either the “iBand” or the “iWatch.” We previously reported that the fashionable item will connect to iOS devices and sport several high-grade health and fitness sensors to track users’ bodies. We also reported that Apple is angling the device as “fashionable.” Perhaps pointing to this device being the topic of this new August filing, the new documents call the components “jewelry:”
Margolis’s research notes that the new Sapphire component listed on the above chart under reference number 7116.20 could refer to jewelry:
Sapphire HTSUS No. 7116.20 represents Articles Of Jewelry Of Precious Or Semiprecious Stones, Valued Not Over $40 Per Piece, Not Containing Jadeite Or Rubies.
This leads Margolis to believe that these new documents are referring to the Apple wearable, planned to be introduced in October, and not another product. The full newly discovered filing is available to view here: