GT Advanced to Increase Sapphire Glass Production in Second Half of 2014

Sapphire glass furnaces

Apple’s sapphire plant partner, GT Advanced, announced earnings today (via MacRumors) for the past quarter, providing details about the ongoing partnership with the iPhone maker. The forward-looking statements also suggest there will no iPhone in July — or at least not one with sapphire glass on board.

The details come from a press release issued by GT Advanced, which looks back to the fourth quarter of 2013 when the company inked the deal with Apple. The company is pleased with the progress it made, despite a revenue drop recorded in the aforementioned quarter.

“Our arrangement to supply sapphire materials to Apple is progressing well and we started to build out the facility in Arizona and staff the operation during the quarter,” said Gutierrez. “We are pleased to have Apple as a sapphire customer and to be in a position to leverage our proprietary know-how to enable the supply of this versatile material. While our primary focus during the balance of the year is to continue to execute on our commitments in Arizona, our aim is to position GT not only as an exceptional sapphire supplier to Apple but also as an unparalleled world-class supplier of sapphire material and equipment to a variety of customers.

But, the business outlook is very positive, with the company projecting improved financial performance during the second half of 2014 as production of sapphire glass ramps up. Annual revenue is expected to hit up to $800 million; of that only 15% in the first six months of 2014 because the sapphire segment accounts for more than 80% of the company’s total revenue in 2014.

It is worth noting here that there were rumours of a July iPhone 6 launch, but because sapphire glass is widely expected to be a key selling point of the device, the GT Advanced earnings appear to contradict those rumours and set the iPhone launch for the fall, following Apple’s product-release pattern.

As previously uncovered, Apple just secured sapphire glass for roughly 100-200 million iPhones thanks to the exclusive deal signed with GT Advanced.