In 2014 many of us assumed that the iPhone of that year would have a sapphire screen . The company responsible for its development, GT Advanced, was very public in its collaboration with Apple, but in the end it ended up bankrupt. Now, five years later, the SEC has just reached an agreement with the company and its former CEO.
Unfulfilled promises by GT Advanced
By 2014, GT Advanced was a regular Apple supplier. At that time it was responsible for the sapphire that protected the lens of the camera and the Touch ID button of the iPhone 5s. It seemed logical that they should be the ones to explore a sapphire screen for the iPhone 6 of that year.
Apple never acknowledged these plans, as the company is accustomed to not revealing details of products yet to be disclosed. From MacRumors, they reflect the agreement of the SEC (the equivalent of the Spanish CNMV) which states the following:
The SEC states that GT Advanced and its CEO Thomas Gutierrez “painted an overly optimistic picture” of the company’s performance as well as its ability to raise financing . Shortly thereafter and as we know, they announced a bankruptcy plan and now it is a privately held (unlisted) company.
As a result of the investigations, the SEC has imposed a fine of $140,000 on Gutierrez and the promise of both that they would “desist from future violations.
The forgotten sapphire of the iPhone 6
Including a material as sophisticated as sapphire in a consumer technology product was something only Apple could do. Remember that the previous year, the company presented the iPhone 5s as a real gem :
That Apple wanted to differentiate itself from its competition by means of a screen with greater scratch resistance through sapphire sounded very good in 2014 . However, as we already know, the story did not turn out as expected. Getting a screen from this material is relatively easy, the real challenge is to manufacture it in quantities of several hundred thousand units per day.
In AppleTu next iPhone will endure fifteen falls to the ground thanks to the new glass Gorilla Glass 6
This bet made by Cupertino went wrong and the Apple team had to turn to Corning to use the well-known Gorilla Glass on their iPhone. The same one used in previous models and used by many competitors.
The sapphire never made it to the screen of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus . But that hasn’t stopped us from having this material on other devices. The screen of the steel Apple Watch, the back of all Series 4 and iPhone cameras are protected with sapphire.
This agreement between the SEC and GT Advanced puts an end to one of those Cupertino bets that rarely have a result that is not expected. Luckily, didn’t have big consequences for the iPhone manufacturer.