Apple's sapphire glass manufacturer readies for production, but will it be in time for iWatch, iPhone 6?
GT Advanced Technologies, which is partnering with Apple to produce sapphire in a new Arizona plant, expects production to be in full swing by the second half of this year. In announcing their Q4 2013 earnings, the company said that while earnings for the first half of this year would be lower than usual, they expected them to increase significantly in the second half of this year as they begin to deliver on orders placed by Apple. In preparation for the ramping up of production, GT has been adding staff and building out the plant, and it's expected that the facility will bring a total of 2,000 new jobs. The company's sapphire operation is big, with GT expecting it to account for most of their revenue in 2014 earnings report:
On an annualized basis, during 2014, the company expects revenues to range from $600 million to $800 million, with approximately 15% of total revenues occurring in the first half of the year. The company expects that its sapphire segment will account for more than 80% of total revenue in 2014. The sapphire segment includes the company's equipment and materials businesses in the LED, industrial and consumer electronics markets.