back to article Apple and GT: Sapphire glass is cracked, but still not broken

Apple's use of the legendary tough and durable sapphire glass in its equally legendary products hangs in the balance following the collapse of its main supplier. GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, causing its share price to crash and burn — falling by 93 per cent to a measly 80 cents. Now …

  1. FartingHippo
    Holmes

    Time to don the old Tin Foil Chapeau

    "My god, this sapphire glass is expensive, these guys have a monopoly! As you all know, the only good monopoly is an Apple monopoly." - Tim Cook, September 2014

    "That's lucky, there's now a really, really cheap sapphire glass company for us to buy." - Tim Cook, Oct 2014

    [not really, but you never know...]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to don the old Tin Foil Chapeau

      My thoughts exactly - Beat me to it.

      1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

        Re: Time to don the old Tin Foil Chapeau

        Well, it worked for Voda / EE vs Phones4U.

    2. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Time to don the old Tin Foil Chapeau

      As opposed to, "Gosh GTW, your product is crap. Never mind, have loads more money."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You might want to notice how thick sapphire glass is when used in a wrist watch and the weight it adds. Thin sapphire glass for a touch screen would be relatively brittle because it cannot flex nor has shock absorption.

      The problem Apple are facing is probably how to produce a laminate glass that has a thin sapphire veneer on the face.

      Oops, have I let the cat out of the bag?

    4. Arctic fox
      Unhappy

      Re: Time to don the old Tin Foil Chapeau

      If it is time to don the hat of paranoia then I am there with you on this occasion. The whole situation smells, big time.

  2. Ralph B

    Me Confused

    In one place the article says:

    GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, causing its share price to crash and burn — falling by 93 per cent to a measly 80 cents.

    In another:

    Since the release of the iPhone 6, GT's stock has plunged from $17.38 to $14.94.

    So, which is it? $0.80 or $14.94? Or was the latter passed on the way to the former?

    1. jpb421

      Re: Me Confused

      I was slightly confused as well. I think the answer is that when the iphone6 was released the shares dropped from $17 to $14 and then when they filed for chapter 11 they plunged more than 90% from $14 to 80c.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Me Confused

      Simples really.

      Apple annonces the iPhone 6. No Sapphire Glass in phone, share price drops to $14.94

      Sometime later

      Company files for Chapter 11, share price drops to $0.80

      The CEO will have some explaining to the SEC though about all his Share disposals.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Nothing wrong with his share sales

        They were arranged back in March. He sold much larger amounts in previous months - he'd had sales arranged in the first or second week or every month except the months in which they reported quarterly results (quiet periods where insider sales/purchases are not allowed)

        Further, most of the shares he was selling came from option exercises or grants from the company, they were new shares he was selling, not shares he'd held for a long time. The sale the day before Apple's announcement was just a coincidence, he couldn't have known what day that would be scheduled for back in March! The amount of shares he sold on September 8th was pretty small as well - around 4% of the total he'd sold in the previous six months.

        All of this is public record, you can look it up on Yahoo Finance, etc. This is Jasper Hamill being Jasper Hamill and trying to make Apple and anything connected with them look bad. Sour grapes since his "peak Apple" narrative fell apart.

        If you want to see insider corruption in a large company, look no further than Samsung. You have everything there, family members suing each other for billions, investigations by their own government into Mafia style corruption, etc.

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: Nothing wrong with his share sales

          Jasper is preaching to the choir here at The Register. Hating Apple (a bizarre concept at best) is apparently the majority position amongst the commentards here, so he just panders to them. Rational commentary gets downvoted instantly and the site generates clicks.

          The Register is on my adblock list and will remain there forever more.

          There is still enough relevant news and intelligent discourse on the forums to justify my continued participation.

          Downvote ---->

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. asdf Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Nothing wrong with his share sales

            >Hating Apple (a bizarre concept at best)

            Does laughing at a bunch of hipsters standing in lines in the weather count as hate?

            1. Philip Lewis

              Re: Nothing wrong with his share sales

              Have you ever been to an Apple store immediately after a product release?

              I doubt it very much, because had you done so, you would not have written something so clueless.

              I shouldn't think that there are 10 million "hipsters" on the planet, and even if there were, it is doubtful they constituted the bulk of the buyers on the release weekend.

              The whole Apple --> Hispster meme, aside from being provably wrong (how many hispsters do YOU think there are on the planet?), it is tedious.

              ps: The troll does not excuse you

              1. Lionel Baden
                Facepalm

                Re: Nothing wrong with his share sales

                and you talk about knee jerk reactions from jasper hamilton ?

                Lets find you a mirror buddy.

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Nothing wrong with his share sales

          @Doug S - Perhaps the stock options might be above board but the SEC is going to nail their top brass for some public statements they have made. This supplier reeks to high heaven even if I agree Apple in this case doesn't. This company (GT) was in trouble long before Apple threw them a bone.

          >Samsung. You have everything there, family members suing each other for billions

          Like the Waltons or Shoens (U-Haul) then.

          >investigations by their own government into Mafia style corruption,

          Oh please there are few places in the world where the lines between government and corporations blur as much as they do in South Korea. If the government is actually investigating its only because they want to nail a former government regime/party who was in power. Corruption and nepotism is pretty much a given in any large Korean company (and to be fair to many in the west as well).

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Me Confused

        I guess it possible that if he's manipulating things, he'll now buy back his shares and in a few weeks announce a major contract and the stock will rise. Ok... I'm BSing on this, but there's more to this than what we're being told.

  3. frank ly

    An early Christmas gift perhaps?

    At $0.8 a share, I'm wondering how much it would cost to buy the company. Can anyone tell us?

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: An early Christmas gift perhaps?

      Market cap is about $224M. Price/book indicates it's worth closer to $290M. It could probably be had for around $300M.

      1. Velv Silver badge

        Re: An early Christmas gift perhaps?

        Remember that price is based on the open market. Any potential buyer looking to take total ownership would need to make a substantially higher offer given they aren't bankrupt yet, just seeking protection against it. (2-3 times)

        Still well within Apple's reach though

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An early Christmas gift perhaps?

        I might buy it if I can have a guaranteed BOGOF

        (BOrosilicate Glass Obsolescence Facilitation)

  4. adriantan

    Vertu has saphire screen

    Vertu has saphire screen on all their phones. So it's technically possible

  5. I have my niche

    Corning back in the game

    Gorilla glass maker Corning must be rubbing hands together anticipating the return of their wayward customer. Ticks all the boxes and proven against the sapphire crystal hype.

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