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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,089member
    Gene Munster will cry himself to sleep tonight.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Gene Munster will cry himself to sleep tonight.

  • Reply 3 of 25

    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.

  • Reply 4 of 25
    Nice video from GT Advanced Technologies on how to cut sapphire layers cheaply and on massive scales. Enjoy :)

    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 5 of 25
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,785member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,785member
    acatomic wrote: »
    Nice video from GT Advanced Technologies on how to cut sapphire layers cheaply and on massive scales. Enjoy :)

    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.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    adamcadamc Posts: 572member

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

  • Reply 9 of 25
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    I bought GTAT a long time back. Nice to see the after hours spike tonight.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by AdamC View Post

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



    Hardly.

  • Reply 11 of 25
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.

  • Reply 13 of 25
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,240member
    I, for one, welcome our new sapphire overlords.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    adamc wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    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?

  • Reply 16 of 25
    wizard69 wrote: »
    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? :smokey:
  • Reply 17 of 25
    acatomic wrote: »
    Nice video from GT Advanced Technologies on how to cut sapphire layers cheaply and on massive scales. Enjoy :)

    [VIDEO]

    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..."
  • Reply 18 of 25
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    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.

  • Reply 19 of 25
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    relic wrote: »
    looks like a death ray.

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


    700
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post



    I, for one, welcome our new sapphire overlords.



    You are welcome.

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