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Apple Watch sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies announces 890 job losses

GT Advanced Technologies, the supplier of sapphire glass for Apple's smartwatch – and indeed we thought the new iPhone displays, back pre-unveiling, when they were supposed to be using sapphire – has announced that it will need to cut 890 jobs.

BetaWired reported the move by the struggling company, which last week filed for voluntary bankruptcy (Chapter 11), although it insisted that it still had a fundamentally sound business.

Tom Gutierrez, president and CEO of GT Advanced Technologies, commented that the filing "does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet."

As BetaWired notes, though, the company is leaking over $1 million (£620,000) per day in losses right now, and it needs to shore that up – which voluntary bankruptcy will achieve, allowing it to regroup and reorganise, pushing its central business of selling products like sapphire furnaces.

There may also be legal action to be taken against Apple over agreements the companies have forged, GT has argued, though it won't be taking up those claims any time soon – rather, for now it's concentrating purely on dropping some of the deals made with Cupertino which have been dragging the company down. Apple, however, is not going to let GT off the leash without a fight, by all accounts...

Related: Apple did plan to use sapphire glass in the iPhone 6

Confidentiality agreements over Apple's products, signed by GT, have meant that the company has been prevented from making its Chapter 11 plans known, and this has left a dark and mysterious cloud over the whole affair in itself.

To say it's unclear how this one will play out is an understatement and a half – but nearly a thousand job losses isn't a great sign to start the week with.

How this could affect the Apple Watch launch schedule isn't known either, although the timeframe announced at the unveiling was vague anyway, with the device set to go on sale "early 2015", which could mean anything up to April theoretically...