Last year, prospective smartphone buyers were awaiting a new feature in the iPhone 6: a scratch-resistant, ultra-durable sapphire glass screen. But a major fallout between Apple and its sapphire glass supplier left the former with a less impressive screen, and the latter with a massive debt that hasn't been resolved until this week.
$439 million in loan debt
The Wall Street Journal reports that GT Advanced Technologies has agreed to auction off much of its equipment, with some of the proceeds going to Apple, and to hand over what it can't sell. In exchange, Apple will scrap the equipment it receives and absolve the company of its $439 million in loan debt, which had been provided to GT as a way of turning into a major sapphire glass supplier. The Journal says a bankruptcy judge must still sign off on the deal, and that GT is seeking a hearing for next week.
Assuming it's approved, the deal would cap off a bitter legal battle between GT and Apple, which have been debating in court over how to resolve the debt. The companies have disagreed on what, exactly, went wrong in the partnership, as arguments over the quality of sapphire from GT and demands from Apple surfaced. But the end result was a public embarrassment for Apple, and financial disaster for GT, which filed for bankruptcy shortly after the release of the iPhone 6.