With the demise of GT Advanced Technologies, one might ask where Apple will get its Transparent Aluminum? Perhaps more accurately, who is currently supplying Apple with sapphire, since there is some question as to whether GTAT ever got the Mesa Arizona plant up and running.
One answer might be …
To harvest the crystal, we use a very thin diamond-cutting wire.
Pay close attention to the 4:00 minute mark of the following video about Rubicon Technology’s sapphire production.
Perhaps Rubicon was and is the manufacturer of the sapphire Apple uses for the camera lens, fingerprint scanner cover, and watch crystal … with Apple planning to transition to GTAT once production was up to quality and capacity.
Bottom line of the above article (my words):
Apple loaned GT Advanced Technologies money to build the sapphire plant which GTAT would pay back out of the monies Apple paid for the sapphire. BUT if certain conditions were not met, Apple could demand all of its money back … NOW.
Bloomberg and other analysts interpret this as a collapse in the Apple – GTAT relationship. Very bad for GTAT.
At one dollar a share, GTAT could be a takeover target play … or it could fold its tent and disappear into the night.
Are you a gambler?
Are you a gambler? GTAT announces Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Stock drops 90%, hovering near a dollar. Analysts ringing the death knell. What happened?
Are you a gambler?
Yesterday’s Google News search on Apple had a Barron’s article on Apple’s suppliers. Apparently you can read the whole article through the Google link, but a direct link asks you to subscribe. Go figure.
The basis of the article is that these stocks could get pummeled if Apple disappoints on September 9. That may or may not come to pass, bit if you want to invest in companies riding Apple’s coat tails consider these:
GTAT – GT Advanced Technologies
Manufacturer of Transparent Aluminum
SWKS – Skyworks Solutions
Wireless handset chip supplier
INVN – InvenSense
Motion processing, MEMS gyroscope, and motion processing technologies for consumer electronics
RFMD – RF Micro Devices
Manufacturer of RF (Radio Frequency) integrated circuits
AVGO – Avago Technologies
Provides an extensive range of analog, mixed-signal and optoelectronic components
OVTI – OmniVision Technologies
Manufacturer of proprietary image sensing and state-of-the-art CMOS process technologies
Produces a diverse range of devices, ranging from single transistors to microprocessors
NXPI – NXP Semiconductors
Creating solutions that enable secure connections for a smarter world
MU – Micron Technology
Best known for producing many forms of semiconductor devices including DRAM, SDRAM, flash memory, and SSDs.
The article also referenced the WordPress site RE/CODE as a source.
Yet More Transparent Aluminum News
From last year …
I’m surprised that Apple doesn’t just buy them outright and be done with it.
I first told you about Transparent Aluminum* here.
I have talked about it several times since.
GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) has the technology to make thin, very thin sheets of it.
Apple has a large plant in Arizona where GTAT is making Transparent Aluminum for them by the ton (literally).
Last February 2014
* in case you have forgotten transparent aluminum is sapphire, Al2O3
Late last year I had the epiphany that industrial sapphire was in fact the Transparent Aluminum presaged in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The first sample has escaped into the wild.
Tell me again why UBS and Canaccord Genuity just downgraded GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ:GTAT)???
Follow up to ‘Transparent Aluminum’ …
Fast Forward >> more on the Ion Cannon
[Transparent Aluminum] was notably mentioned in the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Panels of ultra-thick acrylic glass were needed to construct water tanks within their ship’s cargo bay for containing two humpback whales and tons of water. However, the Enterprise crew, without money appropriate to the period, found it necessary to barter for the required materials. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott exchanges the chemical formula for transparent aluminum for several sheets of the material from a manufacturer called Plexicorp. When Dr. Leonard McCoy informs Scott that giving Dr. Nichols the formula is altering the future, the engineer responds, “Why? How do we know he didn’t invent the thing?”
MERRIMACK, N.H., Nov. 4, 2013 — GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:GTAT) announced that it has entered into a multi-year supply agreement with Apple Inc. to provide sapphire material. GT will own and operate ASF® furnaces and related equipment to produce the material at an Apple facility in Arizona where GT expects to employ over 700 people. Apple will provide GT with a prepayment of approximately $578 million. GT will reimburse Apple for the prepayment over five years, starting in 2015.
Sapphire is currently used as the substrate for LED manufacture and is used by Apple in the lense covers of various ‘iDevice’ cameras as well as the fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5s. The Apple – GT Advanced Technologies deal suggests that Apple needs an assured supply of Sapphire for current and future devices. Such future applications could include Sapphire screens and/or wearable products. (http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/09/apple-invents-a-fusion-process-that-will-add-a-sapphire-laminate-layer-to-iphone-ipad-future-iwatch-cover-glass.html)
From GT Advanced Technologies:
Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness (that is, scratch resistance). The formula for Sapphire is Al2O3.
Sapphire = Transparent Aluminum
See also (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapphire)