A senior executive from a sapphire screen supplier that was forced into bankruptcy after failing to meet demand for displays due to feature in the iPhone 6 has thrown light on Apple’s business practices in a shocking court document.
Daniel Squiller, the Chief Operating Officer at GT Advanced, delivered the details in a 21-page piece of sworn testimony.
Squiller says that despite having an exclusive agreement to sell Apple its sapphire screens, Apple had no obligation to buy.
The one-time Apple partner also had to fulfil any production requests at a time of Apple’s choosing and would be charged if it delivered goods late and be forced to pay expedited shipping.
GT was forbidden to tweak its production equipment without Apple’s permission too, but if Apple decided it wanted changes, these had to be implemented immediately.
According to Squiller, Apple also decided unilaterally that there was no need for power back-up for the furnaces required to produce the sapphire.
This affected production, with power outages at the company’s factory causing delays.
Squiller’s side is likely to be fought by Apple, which said in a statement last week that it "put a lot of effort into an ambitious new sapphire manufacturing process with GTAT which is not ready for production".
His testimony, however, throws a light on how small companies are expected to deal with Apple and may prove a cautionary tale for future suppliers.