Apple's Failed Sapphire Glass Supplier GT Advanced Charged With Misleading Investors

The SEC today announced it has charged GT Advanced Technologies and its former CEO Thomas Gutierrez with misleading investors about the company's ability to supply sapphire glass for iPhones. The company is also found to have misclassified more than $300 million in debt to Apple.


In the fall of 2013, Apple agreed to advance $578 million in four installments to GT in exchange for sapphire glass that met certain technical standards, the SEC says. By late April 2014, GT had failed to meet those standards, resulting in Apple withholding its final $139 million installment and demanding repayment.

On earnings calls in the second quarter of 2014, however, Gutierrez falsely stated that GT expected to hit performance targets and receive the fourth installment payment from Apple by October 2014. GT ended up filing for bankruptcy shortly after, which the SEC says resulted in "significant investor harm."

SEC associate director Anita B. Bandy:

GT and its CEO painted a rosy picture of the company's performance and ability to obtain funding that was paramount to GT's survival while they were aware of information that would have catastrophic consequences for the company. We will continue to hold chief executives accountable when they breach their most fundamental duty to make full and truthful disclosures to investors.

GT later exited bankruptcy and is now privately held.

GT Advanced Technologies was expected to become a major Apple supplier, as it was supposedly able to manufacture extremely thin sheets of sapphire much more cheaply than current methods. For now, Apple continues to source non-sapphire glass from Corning in Kentucky for use in products like the iPhone.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
16 months ago
Of course.

People were wrongly blaming Apple, but it was GT Advanced that was over-promising on their capabilities
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago

Tell that to Mohs scale, it scratches at the same level as Gorilla Glass which scratches at level 6 so no benefit.

Here's Zacks scratch test

Sapphire is a 9. I’ve had sapphire Apple Watch screens since 2015 and never got a single scratch.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago

Tell that to Mohs scale, it scratches at the same level as Gorilla Glass which scratches at level 6 so no benefit.

Here's Zacks scratch test

You do realize the screen on the Max is Gorilla Glass right? It's not sapphire glass. That's why it scratches at a level six like Gorilla Glass... cuz it is.;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago

Does anyone know where this company was located? I live in Salem MA and I believe thats where they were but it's been a while so I can not recall.

Mesa, AZ
[doublepost=1556900529][/doublepost]It's now an Apple Data Center
[doublepost=1556900590][/doublepost]

Even if the deal with GT worked out, sapphire iPhone screens wouldn’t have been worth what the price increase would’ve probably been. Yeah they wouldn’t have scratched as easily, but they would be more shatter-prone.

I never looked at their play as screens for iPhones but rather Apple Watch face and camera lens.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago

You do realize the screen on the Max is Gorilla Glass right? It's not sapphire glass. That's why it scratches at a level six like Gorilla Glass... cuz it is.;)

Are you serious?

https://www.apple.com/lae/iphone-xs/specs/

The one I'm saying is the camera lens that Apple indicated in the specs as "Sapphire crystal lens cover"
[doublepost=1556901446][/doublepost]

Sapphire is a 9. I’ve had sapphire Apple Watch screens since 2015 and never got a single scratch.

See this video. Same impure Sapphire that scratches at 6.

Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
16 months ago

Apple deceived the people about it.
They didn’t really put sapphire completely on the lens. It’s a mixture of faux sapphire.

Apple "deceived" people? Wrong. People just read 2 out of 30 words and then complain about how they were "misled." These same people complain every day about how Facebook should not be able to sell their info, yet still want a free service.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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