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Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced nears completion of Arizona plant, volume production imminent

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
GT Advanced Technologies on Monday said its Arizona sapphire manufacturing facility in Arizona, built in partnership with Apple, is nearly complete and will transition from initial manufacturing to volume production in the near future.

Mesa


In GTAT's results for the second fiscal quarter of 2014, the company revealed that its 1.4 million-square-foot plant in Arizona -- a joint Apple build dubbed Project Cascade -- is nearing completion, meaning the facility's output should hit mass production levels in the near future.

"The build-out of our Arizona facility, which has involved taking a 1.4 million square foot facility from a shell to a functional structure as well as the installation of sapphire growth and fabrication equipment, is nearly complete and we are commencing the transition to volume production," said GT Advanced CEO Tom Gutierrez. "We remain confident about the long-term potential of the sapphire materials business for GT."

For the quarter ending in June, GTAT posted $58 million in revenue, a huge gain from last quarter's $22.5 million performance, but much lower than 2013 due to the buildout of Project Cascade. Overall, the firm posted a net loss of $86 million in quarter two, more than double the $41 million loss seen at the end of March. For the first half of 2014, the company has lost some $128 million.

Much of GTAT's revenue growth came in the way of sapphire-related revenue, which hit $44.1 million over the three-month period, up from $5.6 million in the previous quarter. The ramp-up to production came at a heavy cost of $45.5 million during quarter two, up from less than $2 million in the first quarter of 2014.

"Results during the second quarter were in line with our guidance," Gutierrez said."We have continued to see strong interest in our suite of sapphire production tools, including our ASF equipment. In fact, the sapphire segment of our business accounted for over 75 percent of the revenue in the quarter, with the majority of it related to the sale of sapphire production equipment."

Apple struck a deal with GTAT worth $578 million last November and so far handed out three prepayments, this quarter's amounting to $103 million. If operational targets are met in Arizona, GTAT is expected to take receipt of the final $139 million prepayment by the end of October.

While Apple has limited use of sapphire to smaller components like protective covers for the iPhone's rear-camera lens and Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the company is expected to soon deploy the hard material on a wider scale. Many industry watchers suggest the next-generation iPhone could feature a sapphire display, though a recent report threw cold water on the rumor, saying production yields may prohibit a large-scale rollout in 2014.
post #2 of 26
Gene Munster will cry himself to sleep tonight.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Gene Munster will cry himself to sleep tonight.

post #4 of 26

So those who challenged rumours that production volume from GTAT may be insufficient to release a sapphire-screened iPhone this year now have their answer. What happened to all the sapphire coming out of GTAT in Arizona? Nothing. There wasn't any.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #5 of 26
Nice video from GT Advanced Technologies on how to cut sapphire layers cheaply and on massive scales. Enjoy 1smile.gif
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

So those who challenged rumours that production volume from GTAT may be insufficient to release a sapphire-screened iPhone this year now have their answer. What happened to all the sapphire coming out of GTAT in Arizona? Nothing. There wasn't any.

Did you not read the article? From what I read it looks like they are right in time for full scale production.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by acatomic View Post

Nice video from GT Advanced Technologies on how to cut sapphire layers cheaply and on massive scales. Enjoy 1smile.gif

Neat post. Does that ion implanted say futuristic to you?

Now the question is will Apple be doing a lamination or solid Sapphire? I'm going with a lamination withna gorilla glass.
post #8 of 26
Commence Tim Cook evil genius laugh
You can't spell appeal without Apple.
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You can't spell appeal without Apple.
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post #9 of 26

I don't think it need gorilla glass perhaps ordinary glass will do.

post #10 of 26
I bought GTAT a long time back. Nice to see the after hours spike tonight.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #11 of 26
Originally Posted by AdamC View Post
I don't think it need gorilla glass perhaps ordinary glass will do.


Hardly.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #12 of 26
Perhaps only the 5.5" iPhone 6 will come with a sapphire screen, since the bigger is rumored to have a later release date than the 4.7" model. In Paris it will be called le iPhone royal.
post #13 of 26
Originally Posted by StanTheMan View Post
In Paris it will be called le iPhone royal.

 

And in the US it will be called iPhone Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #14 of 26

Another evidence that the 5.5 is coming out.

The evidence is bloating out of control.

No doubt about it.

post #15 of 26
I, for one, welcome our new sapphire overlords.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamC View Post

I don't think it need gorilla glass perhaps ordinary glass will do.

Glass would have to be too thick. if not GG it would be plastic which can bend easily but prone to scratching, which of course wouldn't be an issue with sapphire on top.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Did you not read the article? From what I read it looks like they are right in time for full scale production.

 

From the article:

 

"GT Advanced Technologies on Monday said its Arizona sapphire manufacturing facility in Arizona, built in partnership with Apple, is nearly complete and will transition from initial manufacturing to volume production in the near future."

 

It's a little late to be starting parts production now for a product that will hit the shelves in 6 weeks or so, no?

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Did you not read the article? From what I read it looks like they are right in time for full scale production.

From the article:

"GT Advanced Technologies on Monday said its Arizona sapphire manufacturing facility in Arizona, built in partnership with Apple, is nearly complete and will transition from initial manufacturing to volume production in the near future."

It's a little late to be starting parts production now for a product that will hit the shelves in 6 weeks or so, no?

Are you saying that Sapphire may be SuperTim's Kryptonite? 1smoking.gif
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by acatomic View Post

Nice video from GT Advanced Technologies on how to cut sapphire layers cheaply and on massive scales. Enjoy 1smile.gif

I was really expecting at any moment, the narrator to start saying, "The Framulator 9000 has been designed and manufactured to the highest standards of safety and efficient operation..."
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


I was really expecting at any moment, the narrator to start saying, "The Framulator 9000 has been designed and manufactured to the highest standards of safety and efficient operation..."

looks like a death ray.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

looks like a death ray.

It looks like it should be operated by guys dressed like this…


"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

I, for one, welcome our new sapphire overlords.


You are welcome.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 
Originally Posted by StanTheMan View Post
In Paris it will be called le iPhone royal.

 

And in the US it will be called iPhone Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

 

And England: the iPhone Fish and Chips.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

Another evidence that the 5.5 is coming out.

The evidence is bloating out of control.

No doubt about it.

 

The joke was funny - I can't remember when.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #25 of 26
While waiting for official word from Apple on how sapphire might be used in upcoming Apple products here's a video that shows real life tests of what might be expected for durability if Apple chooses to use it on the iPhone. It's the first one I've personally come across that we know for certain really does test a sapphire smartphone display in an actual shipping phone (tho maybe Vertu has one somewhere). It does hold up pretty darn well.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It looks like it should be operated by guys dressed like this…



"You may fire when ready commander"!
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
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