GT announced abruptly on Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Last year, Apple chief executive Tim Cook announced the tech giant would partner with the firm to open a plant Mesa, Ariz. -- a move hailed at a time when many tech companies were being heavily criticized for not manufacturing components in the United States.
News of the partnership sent GT shares as high as $20.54 this summer. But the manufacturer's stock tanked last month after Apple announced its latest iPhone models would not have sapphire glass screens. Shares dropped more than 35 percent between the Sept. 9 announcement and Monday's bankruptcy announcement. After the filing, shares dropped as low as 75 cents per share; on Thursday they were trading at $1.28.
Apple has another consideration to make in the wake of its partner's bankruptcy: While sapphire glass isn't a major component of the latest iPhone, Apple is using it for its new smartwatch. The Apple Watch, which is due to hit shelves next year, uses the tough-as-nails glass for its 38 mm and 42 mm square faces.
Analysts expect that Apple will have a limited number of watches available for sale around February. So far, the company has given no indication that its announced "early 2015" Apple Watch timeline will change due to the bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy that GT filed for allows the firm to continue business operations as it sorts out its finances. In Monday's announcement, GT chief executive officer Tom Gutierrez said the company will "continue to execute our business plan" and "maintain operations" throughout the bankruptcy proceedings.
Apple's investors seem equally unfazed. While the company's shares took a slight hit earlier in the week on GT's bankruptcy news, they were slightly up on Wednesday afternoon, trading just over $99 per share.