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.
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.
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.
[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.