Manufacturer of Sapphire Screen Wants Contract With Apple Dropped

GT Advanced Technologies one of the suppliers for Apple of its sapphire screens urged a Friday bankruptcy court to free it from the contract it has with Apple.

The touch screens that are sapphire from the manufacturer are a hugely durable synthetic replacement for glass that is currently used on many of the devices made by Apple. They are already used in specific fragile components of the devices.

The new smartwatch by Apple as well as some of the iPhones’ latest versions are equipped with the sapphire screens.

The screen manufacturer based in the U.S. believes that it might have a number of claims versus Apple that are arising from a business relationship.

The company added that the agreements between the two were burdensome and oppressive terms to the obligations with GTAT.

GT asked the court if it could wind down some manufacturing plants across two states to lower its ongoing cash burden, which threatened to eat into the liquidity of the company.

The sapphire making company argued in court that the agreements only benefited Apple and changed the company’s benefit model from offering equipment that manufactures sapphires to building them with synthetic materials.

The company filed an official petition for bankruptcy, bringing into question where Apple would turn for a supply of the special touchscreens.

GT Advanced told a courtroom that an evaluation was taken by the company and lead it to deduct that to safeguard its assets, it would need to close down its Arizona and Massachusetts sapphire facilities.

Ceasing the screen operations for sapphire screen operations equates to more than 890 people losing their jobs, according to Saturday’s legal motion.

While Cupertino-bases Apple has not made a public statement regarding the situation, the tech company was quoted as saying in the press reports that Apple had been surprised by the resolution filing by GT for bankruptcy.