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'Apple Watch' sapphire glass maker files for bankruptcy protection

Wonder material will continue to spew forth, insists CEO

The firm which was rumoured to have been manufacturing sapphire glass for Apple's upcoming smartwatch has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Sources had been whispering that Apple was planning to use the scratch-resistant material for the screens on the Apple Watch and forthcoming models of the iPhone.

GT Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, sending its stock crashing by 92 per cent from yesterday's closing price of $10.98 to an all-time low of $0.79 this morning.

The firm's head honchos insisted that the business was still viable.

"GT has a strong and fundamentally sound underlying business," said Tom Gutierrez, CEO and president. "Today's filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet.”

"We are convinced that the rehabilitative process of chapter 11 is the best way to reorganize, protect our company and provide a path to our future success,” continued Gutierrez. “We remain committed to our roots in innovation and our diversification strategy. We plan to continue to operate as a technology leader across our core set of businesses."

GT said there is still about $85m of cash in its coffers.

However, it also announced assets and liabilities worth upwards of $1bn.

Apple and GT were supposed to be working together to produce sapphire glass, but something looks to have gone wrong after the release of the iPhone 6, which many observers expected to be made using the material.

"It would appear that something very fundamentally broke down in the relationship between Apple and GT Advanced," claimed Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchano. ®

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