Nope, Apple won’t manufacture servers at AZ center

By

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple isn't making iCloud servers in the US.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple says it has no plans to manufacture high-tech servers in the USA, despite a recent report claiming the iPhone-maker applied for permission to do “high-tech manufacturing” at its site in Mesa, Arizona.

The Mesa center was previously the home of Apple’s ex-sapphire supplier that went bankrupt in 2014. Instead of seeking permission to manufacture on the site, Apple clarified that it is actually just applying to renew the original Foreign Trade-Zone status of the location that brings some big tax benefits.

.

Scratch test suggests iPhone 7 camera lens may not be pure sapphire

By

iphone 7 plus camera
Apple's new camera lens is cool, but it may not be pure sapphire.
Photo: Apple

We may not yet have sapphire glass on our iPhone screens, but Apple has been claiming to use the ultra-hard material for its iPhone camera lens since 2013’s iPhone 5s.

However, those claims are being called into question by a new durability test carried out by YouTuber JerryRigEverything, who compares the hardness of the iPhone 7 camera lens with the sapphire display of a Tissot sapphire watch — and finds that the iPhone camera lens scratches far more easily.

Check the video out below.

.

Apple’s sapphire maker grows the world’s biggest sapphire crystal

By

sapphire-boule
Has Apple's latest manufacturer cracked the sapphire code?
Photo: GT Advanced Technologies

Apple has had its problems with sapphire manufacturers before, but not with its latest supplier, which not only stands as the largest sapphire manufacturer in the world and one of the few that are showing any kind of operating profit — but also just churned out the world’s first 300lb synthetic sapphire crystal.

.

Apple still determined to bring sapphire displays to iPhone

By

Apple is gobbling up sapphire supplies at an alarming rate of knots. Photo:
It's coming. One day.
Photo: GT Advanced Technologies

It would be easy to think that Apple’s sapphire iPhone dreams went down the pan when GT Advanced Technologies went bust, but Apple’s nothing if not persistent.

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple describing a new method for manufacturing sapphire displays by irradiating the sapphire crystal and then using a laser and “second gas medium” to slice it into the super-thin sheets Apple requires.

.

Fire breaks out at Apple’s Arizona command center

By

We said 'sapphire', not 'a fire'
We said 'sapphire', not 'a fire'
Photo: 12 News

A fire of unknown origin broke out today in Apple’s command center in Mesa, Arizona.

Local firefighters responded at around 11:30 Tuesday morning to the structure, which formerly held sapphire glass supplier GT Advanced Technologies.

A Mesa fire spokesperson said the flames seemed to be localized to the roof of the building, near Signal Butte Road and Elliot Road.

.

Apple Watch will consume a fifth of world’s sapphire supply

By

Apple is gobbling up sapphire supplies at an alarming rate of knots. Photo:
Apple is gobbling up sapphire supplies at an alarming rate of knots. Photo: GT Advanced Technologies
Photo: GT Advanced Technologies

Apple will consume 18 percent of global sapphire ingot output making the displays for the Apple Watch, according to a new report coming out of China’s supply chain. This adds up to a whopping 30.8 million millimetres of two-inch (diameter) sapphire ingots in total.

.

Crystal Baller: Dual-lens iPhone 6s, ARM-based Macs and 6 more crazy Apple rumors

By

FULLSCREEN

The iPhone 6S rumor mill is churning

We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.

We've coming out of our winter hibernation to an avalanche of new iPhone 6S rumors claiming Apple's next smartphone will have the biggest camera upgrade ever. There's also whispers of a 12-inch MacBook Air on the horizon, and a possible ARM-powered Mac in the next year.

Step up to the crystal ball and find out which of these rumors is most likely to come true in 2015.

Apple and Intel are breaking up?

The Rumor: Your iMacs and MacBooks will be powered by ARM processors in 1 - 2 years/

The Verdict Not likely to happen yet. Ming Chi Kuo, aka “the world’s most accurate Apple analyst” has been wrong a time or two, and I think this is time he’s way off. Ditching Intel chips has been rumored forever. It still doesn’t make sense, as Apple would be sacrificing a lot of processing power for modest battery gains. It could happen in the next five years, but Kuo’s prediction that we’ll see an ARM powered MacBook in the next year sounds too soon to be true.

Dual-lens iPhone cameras?

The iPhone no longer has the best smartphone camera.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple patent takes aim at GoPro

The Rumor: GoPro is in trouble after Apple won a patent on its own wearable camera system.

The Verdict Apple is not making a wearable camera. Not because it couldn’t make a kickass wearable camera that’s even better than GoPro, but because there’s just not enough money in the wearable cameras market. If Apple can’t sell tens of millions of units of a product every quarter there’s no point in making it. GoPro investors can rest easy for another year.

iPhone joystick?

The Rumor: Your next iPhone could sport a hidden gaming joystick behind the home button.

The Verdict Probably not going to happen. There are so many more parts that could break and need repair if Apple moved to a spring loaded joystick/home button. We still haven’t seen any iPhone gaming cases take off, and this is certainly an intriguing idea, but this patent is mostly likely a glimpse into an alternative Apple universe we’ll never see.

Meet Apple's new sapphire supplier

The Rumor: Apple already lined up a new a sapphire supplier.

The Verdict Too early to tell. Ever since GTAT went belly up Apple’s been hunting for a new sapphire supplier. Previous rumors have claimed Foxconn will step in, while a recent Wall Street Journal report points to Apple supplier Desay as the possible GTAT replacement. The company already makes sapphire displays for its smartphones. Maybe the S in iPhone 6S will stand for “sapphire.”

Ready for a RAM upgrade?

The Rumor: 2GB of RAM will be the new standard on the iPhone 6S.

The Verdict The odds of the iPhone 6S getting 2GB of RAM is incredibly likely. We’re not expecting a design overall on the 6S, but there should be plenty of big internal upgrades. The iPhone 6 only has 1GB of RAM. Doubling it will certainly make it wicked fast, and all those new Metal-coded games will look better than ever.

Advertisment

iPhone is ditching LCD

The Rumor: Future iPhones are set to get OLED displays.

The Verdict Count on it, but not until 2016. Foxconn is reportedly dedicating an entire factory to pumping out OLED displays for iPhones and Apple wearables. Mass production probably won’t start until 2016, which will come just in time for Apple to swap out the iPhone 6s’ LCD display with a thinner, brighter OLED beauty.

12-inch MacBook Airs with one port?

The Rumor: Apple’s redesign of the MacBook Air will pare it down to a 12-inch screen with just one port: USB Type C.

The Verdict The entire 12-inch MacBook Air Stealth scoop by Mark Gurman sounds almost too unreal. I’ll just say, I’ve also heard from one of his incredibly well placed sources, that it is going to happen.

.

Apple’s failed sapphire makers want to pay out millions in bonuses to senior execs

By

Could Gorilla Glass soon be even better than sapphire? Photo: Corning Glass
Failed sapphire maker GT Advanced Technologies wants to pay out performance-based bonuses to its senior execs.

GT Advanced Technologies’ attempts to make sapphire iPhone screens for Apple may have ended in disaster, but that’s not stopping GT senior execs from asking for millions to be paid out in bonuses.

Because the company filed for bankruptcy protection back in October, any bonus program needs to have the signature of a judge in order to be legally binding. GT is requesting a hearing in January, although it admits there is likely to be opposition.

The bonus program would cover 9 unidentified senior executives, and could add up to $2.275 million if all the necessary targets are hit. A second bonus proposal would pay a total of $1.4 million to an additional 28 people.

.

Apple could rely on Foxconn for its sapphire iPhone screens

By

Could Gorilla Glass soon be even better than sapphire? Photo: Corning Glass
Foxconn might be helping Apple out on the sapphire front.

Foxconn might get in on Apple’s sapphire business for future iPhones, according to a source speaking with Cult of Mac.

While Foxconn has no actual experience growing sapphire, it is reportedly very interested in the material, and has been actively pursuing various sapphire related patents over the past several years.

Foxconn’s array of sapphire patents include LCD displays with sapphire, protective sapphire covers, methods of sapphire growth, as well as a laser process to cut sapphire substrates to eliminate the need for grinding and polishing.

.

How to build a gaming Hackintosh on the cheap: hardware

By

More power, less money, runs OS X. Winning! Photo: Killian Bell
Want more power for your money? Build a Hackintosh. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I recently decided it was time to get a proper desktop computer. I needed it predominantly for work, but I wanted it to be powerful enough to play the latest games in 1080p without worrying about stuttering or terrible frame rates.

The new Mac lineup didn’t offer a perfect fit — the Retina 5K iMac was too expensive, and the new Mac mini simply wasn’t powerful enough — so I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.

I set a budget of $650 for my build. That’s $150 more than the base model Mac mini, but $50 less than the midrange model. In this piece, I’ll take you through the components I purchased and why I chose them, and how I put them all together. Next week, I’ll show you how I installed OS X to turn my DIY gaming rig into a Hackintosh.

.