Apple tried to help GT Advanced qualify for final $139M payment, report says
Prior to GT Advanced Technologies' bankruptcy filing earlier this week, Apple reportedly attempted to assist the firm in meeting certain technical milestones that would allow continued payment as part of a conditional $578 million deal.
Despite Apple's help, GT Advanced failed to meet required sapphire plant goals stipulated in its contract, which in turn led to Apple's withholding of a final $139 million loan payout, reports The Wall Street Journal.
According to sources familiar with the matter, GT received the first three of four payments from Apple — totaling nearly $440 million — even though the company missed contract goals.
Further, sources said Apple is not planning to exercise a contract provision that would allow the company to recoup its investment in GT. As part of the $578 million deal, GT was required to have a cash balance of at least $125 million, but the company on Monday revealed it had only $85 million as of Sept. 29.
Earlier today, Apple said it was surprised by GT's bankruptcy filing and is currently working with Arizona officials to preserve jobs created in the state as part of the huge sapphire operation.
Last November, Apple announced its partnership with GT Advanced, which ultimately led to the construction of the world's largest sapphire manufacturing plant in Mesa, Ariz.. The facility is supposedly tasked with providing Apple material for use in future products, which some analysts mistakenly assumed to be the recently released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
GT's Mesa plant has been steadily ramping up production over the past few months, possibly in preparation for the upcoming Apple Watch. Aside from protective covers for the iPhone's rear-facing camera and Touch ID fingerprint reader, Apple has yet to deploy sapphire on a large scale.