Following a court order that documents be unsealed regarding the ill-fated partnership between Apple and sapphire crystal glass maker GT Advanced, a number of interesting anecdotes surrounding the tumultuous relationship have been exposed. In an unedited affidavit, GT Advanced COO Daniel Squiller claimed that Apple used a classic “bait-and-switch” strategy to secure its deal with the now-bankrupt supplier. expand full story
COO Stories November 7, 2014
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While lawyers for bankrupt sapphire supplier GT Advanced confirmed previously that it had reached an agreement to repay Apple approximately $439 million, many details regarding what exactly went wrong in the partnership had not been disclosed publicly. Today we get what might be the clearest explanation yet of what happened between the two companies leading up to GTAT filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. In a declaration filed by COO of GT Advanced Daniel Squiller with the courts yesterday (via Fortune), the company outlines previously sealed info regarding its deal with Apple and terms of the deal that lead to GT’s bankruptcy filing.
When GTAT initially entered into negotiations to sell sapphire furnaces to Apple, it had no sense that, having borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for the components of more than 2,036 sapphire furnaces, it would end up being unable to meet its cost and production targets for reasons that it believes were beyond its control as well as unforeseen difficulties in scaling its technology to 262kg boules to meet evolving product specifications.
While noting that the deal was “an ambitious transaction for the production of sapphire in quantities, size and quality never before achieved,” the document reveals a number of strict terms Apple imposed in the deal that the company describes as limiting its ability to achieve Apple’s requirements for sapphire production. Here’s a few of the more interesting bits: expand full story