After Apple decided to purchase over half a billion dollars’ worth of sapphire ($578 million to be exact), it was expected that the Cupertino tech company was going to incorporate synthetically manufactured sapphire glass to its screens, home buttons and camera lenses to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. This was not to be, as Apple’s current flagship offerings still sports the traditional shatter proof glass that is present on the company’s previous generation products too.
There are several reasons why GT Advanced Technologies, the company that was responsible for mass producing and supplying Apple with the necessary sapphire paraphernalia, failed to keep its end of the promise. Starting off, the company had never produced sapphire glass on such a monumental scale, and thanks to a number of events,resulted in the inexperienced company filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. Having only $85 million in cash left, the clause protected the company’s assets and allowed it to perform its day to day operations without the fear of shutting down.
Furthermore, the company’s very first sapphire block weighed in at 262kg. While this was not the core problem that prevented the company from using a cutting process to create synthetic sheets of sapphire, the sapphire block turned out to be extremely unstable, which ultimately meant discarding the heavy block.Having an unstable sapphire block was the least of the company’s problems. Hiring an abundant number of employees who were not well versed with the industry ended up costing the company a lot more.
In addition, the hired employees displayed improper work behavior as majority of them turned to slacking off during work hours, not to mention being completely incompetent by recycling sapphire bricks worth millions instead of shipping them. Perhaps this is not the year where iPhone fans will gaze their eyes to an iPhone or an iPad sporting a sapphire glass, but there is always next year to look forward too.