GT Advanced Technologies spikes on sapphire deal with Apple

“GT Advanced Technologies Inc. rallied on Tuesday after it secured a multi-year contract from Apple Inc. to supply the iPhone maker with sapphire material, while Corning Inc. retreated on worries about possible adverse impact from the tie-up,” Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan report for MarketWatch.

“GT [GTAT] shares surged nearly 21%. The company said Monday it reached a deal with Apple where GT will produce sapphire material at an Apple facility in Mesa, Ariz.,” Chang and Vaishampayan report. “As part of the agreement, Apple will provide GT with a loan of about $578 million which GT will pay back over five years starting in 2015. “The multiyear agreement requires a minimum level of capacity but doesn’t guarantee volumes,” said GT in a statement.”

Chang and Vaishampayan report, “The announcement, however, has prompted concerns among analysts that it could have an adverse impact on Corning Inc. [GLW]… Apple’s agreement with GT comes after Corning last month said it reached a deal with Samsung Display to buy shares it doesn’t own in Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., a joint venture with Samsung, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: After Steve Jobs gave them their Gorilla Glass business, Corning buddies up to the serial Apple IP thieves, Samsung Electronics. Perhaps they foresaw Apple’s move to the superior sapphire for display glass, beyond the current camera lens covers and Touch ID buttons, dumping Gorilla Glass altogether. If not, Corning deserves much pain.

Related articles:
Apple expands ‘Made in USA’ efforts with sapphire glass factory in Arizona, creating over 2,000 jobs – November 4, 2013
Apple strikes sapphire supply deal with GT Advanced – November 4, 2013
Gorilla glass maker Corning enters into strategic partnership with Samsung Display – October 23, 2013
Sapphire glass may be used in 2014 iPhone Retina display, sources say – September 18, 2013
Vertu COO: Apple investigated sapphire crystal displays, but found them infeasible at this time – June 13, 2013
Corning’s Gorilla Glass vs. sapphire for mobile touch displays – May 28, 2013
Apple’s next iPhone screen could be made of Sapphire – May 2, 2013
Steve Jobs, steel balls and Corning’s Gorilla Glass (with video) – January 11, 2013


  1. Apple doesn’t care anyway. Corning will still supply different companies their products… Apple included. But glad Apple keeps moving forward.

    Next year is their innovation year.

    1. Not “on” put rather under. I believe the sapphire glass is the protective outer skin layer protecting the button and it is harder/stronger than the old “Gorilla Glass”.

  2. Love the idea of unscratchable screen but to be honest after 5 different iPhones I’ve never scratched the screen and I don’t use a screen protector.
    If it adds $$$ then not interested, if it’s same cost then bring it on!!

    1. It won’t add $$$, but it will likely add $. If I recall correctly from the video, a Gorilla Glass screen costs $3 and current sapphire screens cost around $30. But economies of scale and new manufacturing techniques resulting from this Apple/GT Advanced Technologies effort should reduce the cost of a sapphire screen to $10 to $15. Eventually the cost will go even lower.

      Adding the sapphire display to all products would improve economies of scale, and I would gladly pay $12 extra for a sapphire display. But it could also be offered as a build-to-order option.

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