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GT Advanced closed court hearing was to seek permission to close the sapphire plant


The motion GT Advanced filed earlier for a closed hearing was to seek court permission to close its sapphire manufacturing plant, reports Re/code.

Sapphire crystal maker GT Advanced Technologies, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week, has asked the court’s permission to “wind down” operations at its manufacturing plant, less than a year after announcing a high-profile deal to supply the material to Apple.

As we noted earlier, the reason for the company’s failure appears to be that it was unable to meet Apple’s requirements for sapphire displays for the iPhone 6, though it remains unclear whether this was a quality issue or an inability to supply the volumes needed.

The court will hear the company’s motion on 15th October.

KGI stated earlier this week that the bankruptcy of GT Advanced is unlikely to have any impact on the Apple Watch as there are other suppliers able to provide sapphire screens in the sizes needed, but it may be that Apple will rethink its plans to use sapphire for future iPhones.

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  1. OneOkami (@OneOkami) - 8 years ago

    I think I’ve stated this before but I was always a bit concerned about the use of sapphire screens because for its benefit in hardness, it’s not as a good of a solution when it comes to weight, reflectivity and especially for me, transmission of light as I like my displays bright.

    I’ve never had a problem with Gorilla Glass. Sapphire on phone screens really feel to me like a fix to a non-existent problem or a tradeoff with (at least personally) more cons than pros.

    • 89p13 - 8 years ago

      I’m in total agreement with you.

      As someone who doesn’t put my phone in my pocket – screen scratching was never an issue with me. I have dropped my phone several times but thanks to the durability of Gorilla Glass, I’ve never had to replace anything.

      I don’t think I could say that if the screen were made of Sapphire.

      This story will certainly be interesting to follow.

      • If Apple were to use sapphire for its screens, it would be because the method they’ve employed met their requirements. So it’s not really apt to generalize here. Until the product is released, doing so would be like calling the gorilla glass on past iPhones simply ‘glass.’ This goes beyond strength and resiliency and applies also to transparency.

        Somewhere at Apple there are a few prototypes with such screens.

    • standardpull - 8 years ago

      That’s a good point. So many handset designers are unaware of the limitations and trade offs when it comes to using specific materials and subcomponents in their products. I always thought it would be cool to have a phone made of papier-mâché due to its weight and moldability but as with sapphire there are hidden limitations that even the best designers and engineers may not appreciate.

      • dugbug - 8 years ago

        They are aware of the trade offs without question.

      • Mosha - 8 years ago

        That’s a ridiculous statement….

  2. Francisco Russo - 8 years ago

    A question that remains to be answered is…
    If it is not saphire, if it is not Gorilla Glass, what kind of glass is in the iphone 6?

    • Gorilla Glass is just a trade name for Corning’s strengthened aluminosilicate glass, it’s a great product but most of the theory is not proprietary, there isn’t anything really stopping another manufacture with the expertise and technology from making very similar glass.

  3. Soprovis - 8 years ago



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Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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