Nope, Apple won’t manufacture servers at AZ center

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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apple_intel1

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.


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

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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

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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

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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.