Apple Sapphire Deal with GT to Hit Full Production Beginning in 2H 2014

GT Advanced Technologies, Apple's partner in a new sapphire plant in Arizona, today announced earnings for the fourth quarter of 2013 while also providing a forward look at what will be a "transformational" year for the company. The company's comments help put into perspective just how large the deal with Apple is, with significant ramping heading into the second half of this year and into 2015.

"Our arrangement to supply sapphire materials to Apple is progressing well and we started to build out the facility in Arizona and staff the operation during the quarter," said Gutierrez. "We are pleased to have Apple as a sapphire customer and to be in a position to leverage our proprietary know-how to enable the supply of this versatile material. While our primary focus during the balance of the year is to continue to execute on our commitments in Arizona, our aim is to position GT not only as an exceptional sapphire supplier to Apple but also as an unparalleled world-class supplier of sapphire material and equipment to a variety of customers.

As part of the deal with Apple, GT halted sales of its sapphire production furnaces in order to focus on building out capacity for Apple, a move that resulted in a drastic reduction in GT's revenue for the latter half of 2013 and saw the company's full-year revenue drop to $299 million in 2013 from $733.5 million in 2012.

gt_advanced_technologies_banner
GT projects that company revenue will remain low during the first half of 2014 as it continues to ramp up production for Apple, with revenue of just $20-30 million for the first quarter. But the company forecasts a massive increase in revenue for the latter half of the year, which should represent 85% of the company's full-year revenue of $600-800 million. That timing would appear to be in line with an Apple product launch such as an iPhone 6 with sapphire-covered display in the usual September-October timeframe.

The company expects that 2014 will be a transformational year, one in which it builds a sapphire materials business while continuing to invest in the new technologies that will drive its equipment business in 2015 and beyond.

The company expects that revenue and profitability will be back end loaded, with its sapphire materials business ramping as the year progresses, and with improving financial performance during the second half of 2014.

On an annualized basis, during 2014, the company expects revenues to range from $600 million to $800 million, with approximately 15% of total revenues occurring in the first half of the year. The company expects that its sapphire segment will account for more than 80% of total revenue in 2014. The sapphire segment includes the company's equipment and materials businesses in the LED, industrial and consumer electronics markets.

With sapphire estimated to account for 80% of GT's revenue for the year and Apple undoubtedly representing the lion's share of that segment, the deal with Apple could be generating in the range of $400-500 million for GT this year. Looking further ahead, GT sees even more growth with estimates of over $1 billion in total revenue for 2015.

Apple has been looking to rush its new sapphire plant into production this month to "create a critical new sub-component of Apple Products". Given the number of sapphire furnaces delivered to the facility and on order, the partnership between Apple and GT could be sufficient to produce 100-200 million sapphire-covered iPhone displays per year.

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
90 months ago
Aluminum and saphire—Apple tech is slowly taking the place of jewelry.

I'm still waiting for the day I can get down on one knee and propose to a woman with an off-contract iPhone… although that probably depends more on the woman. :p
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkslide29 Avatar
90 months ago

Isn't Arizona known as the 'crazy' state? Hope this doesn't affect production.


Will Tim Cook still keep this deal in Arizona if the gay-bashing legislation gets signed by their governor?


Seriously, what is wrong with Arizona always trying to pass laws that discriminate?

It's as if they want to surpass Florida on the WTF scale.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gasu E. Avatar
90 months ago

As part of the deal with Apple, GT halted sales of its sapphire production furnaces in order to focus on building out capacity for Apple, a move that resulted in a drastic reduction in GT's revenue for the latter half of 2013 and saw the company's full-year revenue drop to $299 million in 2013 from $733.5 million in 2012.


There must be have been some amazing guarantees from Apple, in order for this company to agree to tear up its current business model.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Koodauw Avatar
90 months ago
Can I buy stock in this company?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
luckydcxx Avatar
90 months ago
As great as sapphire is for scratch resistance it would be amazing if they could make it thick enough to be shatter proof against drops.

I don't need the thinnest smartphone in the world again, I need all day battery life with a thick battery and a thick sapphire screen for it not to break.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
whooleytoo Avatar
90 months ago

Aluminum and saphire—Apple tech is slowly taking the place of jewelry.

I'm still waiting for the day I can get down on one knee and propose to a woman with an off-contract iPhone… although that probably depends more on the woman. :p


OFF contract iPhone? Do you really want to propose to someone who's afraid to commit? ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...