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.

gt advanced logo 2
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

realtuner Avatar
65 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)
dannyyankou Avatar
65 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)
69Mustang Avatar
65 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)
guerro Avatar
65 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)
sinoka56 Avatar
65 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)
Kaibelf Avatar
65 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)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
Apple Silicon AI Optimized Feature Siri

Apple Releases Open Source AI Models That Run On-Device

Wednesday April 24, 2024 3:39 pm PDT by
Apple today released several open source large language models (LLMs) that are designed to run on-device rather than through cloud servers. Called OpenELM (Open-source Efficient Language Models), the LLMs are available on the Hugging Face Hub, a community for sharing AI code. As outlined in a white paper [PDF], there are eight total OpenELM models, four of which were pre-trained using the...
iPad And Calculator App Feature

Apple Finally Plans to Release a Calculator App for iPad Later This Year

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:08 am PDT by
Apple is finally planning a Calculator app for the iPad, over 14 years after launching the device, according to a source familiar with the matter. iPadOS 18 will include a built-in Calculator app for all iPad models that are compatible with the software update, which is expected to be unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple's annual developers conference WWDC on June 10. AppleInsider...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...