In a new Financial Times report that was posted today, they note that the abrupt bankruptcy filed by GT Advanced Technologies last week has brought the confidential deals that Apple strikes with its suppliers into the spotlight. Details of Apple's non-disclosure agreements, which suppliers are not even allowed to acknowledge – have already emerged in court filings by GT Advanced Technologies, including the $50 million dollar penalty that Apple maker imposes for any leak of product information. Report Updated October 14, 2014
Ahead of a court hearing that will be held on Wednesday in New Hampshire, GT's lawyers are arguing that even more information about its relationship with Apple should be published, in the interests of creditors and shareholders. In filings last week, the Arizona-based manufacturer called its supplier agreement with Apple "oppressive and burdensome."
Apple's legal team is likely to fight this tooth and nail in order to stop any possible revelations about their sapphire's specifications, and more importantly, their plans for future products being revealed. Such information could also reveal pricing and costs figures which Apple's other suppliers could use as leverage in their own margin negotiations. (Update Oct. 14, 2014 5:50 PST: As expected, Apple filed a motion in New Hampshire today to keep the details of their agreement with GTAT confidential.)
The report notes that other companies in Apple's supply chain are watching the case with nervous interest.
GTAT is already beginning to wind down their sapphire manufacturing operations related to Apple products, which it said cost it $1m a day, leading to the loss of 890 jobs, out of its 1,110 full-time employees.