Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple to Pay $450 Million to Settle E-Book Price Fixing Case

According to court records filed on Wednesday, July 16, Apple will pay $450 million as part of an out-of-court settlement with class action lawyers and state district attorneys over e-book price fixing, reports Reuters.

Apple first reached a settlement agreement with the 33 U.S. states and territories involved in the lawsuit in June, successfully avoiding a lengthy and expensive damages trial. Settlement details were sealed at that time, however, pending court approval. $400 million of the $450 million is earmarked for consumers.

The settlement is contingent on a pending appeals case Apple filed in February with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. In the filing, Apple asked the court to overturn the original ruling that found the company guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices.
"We have obviously studied Judge Cote's July 2013 ruling in detail, and believe that the 2nd Circuit will agree with her conclusion that Apple did violate federal antitrust laws," said Steve W. Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and lead attorney representing the consumer class. "In any case of this magnitude, there are high degrees of uncertainty, and Apple's appeal of Judge Cote's well-reasoned ruling is an example of that uncertainty."
Though found guilty, Apple has maintained its innocence throughout the dispute, claiming that it "kick-started competition in a highly concentrated market, delivering higher output, lower price levels, and accelerated innovation." Should Apple's appeal be successful, sending the claim back to District Court, the company will pay out $50

Wico and Goophone Beat Apple to Market with Android-Based iPhone 6 Clones

Months before Apple is expected to release its next-generation iPhone, functional iPhone 6 clones already are starting to appear in China's mobile phone marketplace. One of the first clones, the Wico i6, is profiled by 86DIGI (via Nowhereelse.fr) in a two-part hands-on video.


(Note: Contains fairly loud soundtrack of The Carpenters' "Top of the World")
Like most clones, the Wico i6 is quite detailed for a fake, with authentic-looking FCC labeling and the characteristic Apple branding. The phone also closely mimics the rumored styling of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 with a thin chassis that houses a side-mounted power button and elongated volume buttons.


Wico isn't the only clone maker ready to enter the mobile phone black market, however. Chinese clone maker Goophone has also announced (via GizChina.com) that it is preparing the Goophone i6 for release in August, ahead of Apple's expected September iPhone launch.

The GooPhone also borrows its styling from the rumored schematics of the iPhone 6 and pairs it with a quad-core Mediatek MT6582 chipset, 1GB RAM and 13 megapixel rear camera. Similar to previous Goophone clones, the i6 model is powered by the Android operating

iOS 8 Beta 4 Reportedly Coming Monday, July 21

As iOS 8 proceeds through development and testing, the fourth beta version will be seeded to developers on Monday, July 21, according to BGR. A release on that date would mark a two-week interval since the release of the third beta on July 7, down from a roughly three-week interval between the second and third betas.

BGR regularly publishes reports predicting future release dates for iOS betas, and while the predictions are sometimes off by a day or two as was the case with beta 3, they are usually close to the actual date barring any last-minute schedule changes by Apple. As a result, it is reasonable to believe the fourth beta should arrive early next week rather than the following

Alleged iPhone 6 Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor Shown Off in New Photos

Nowhereelese.fr (Google Translate) shares some new photos of an alleged Touch ID fingerprint sensor said to be for the iPhone 6. The component appears to be mostly similar in design to the Touch ID component used for the iPhone 5s, aside from relocated screw holes that line up with the metal housing of the device.

iPhone 5s Touch ID sensor (top) and alleged iPhone 6 Touch ID component (bottom)
Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is said to have provided the first batch of fingerprint sensors for the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 in May. A report last month noted that these newer Touch ID units would be more durable than the ones currently found in the iPhone 5s thanks to an updated manufacturing process that uses tin.

Higher shipments for Touch ID components would likely help launch supplies for the iPhone 6, as low yield rates of the component were reportedly to blame for the limited supplies of the iPhone 5s last year. The iPhone 6 will likely be announced and launched this September, and is expected to come in two sizes of 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. However, a recent report suggested that the company is running into production issues with the device, which may lead to the 5.5-inch version launching after October or in early

Apple and IBM Team Up For Major Enterprise Mobility Partnership

Apple and IBM today announced plans for an exclusive partnership that will see them teaming up to "transform enterprise mobility" through a series of new business apps and services for iOS devices that will undoubtedly skyrocket Apple's enterprise sales.

IBM will begin selling iOS devices to its corporate customers and will also create more than 100 industry-specific native apps that are built from the ground up for the iPhone and the iPad. IBM will provide cloud services optimized for iOS as well, with capabilities like device management, security, analytics, and mobile integration.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (Apple/Paul Sakuma)
"iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "For the first time ever we're putting IBM's renowned big data analytics at iOS users' fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver."
As part of the deal, Apple also has plans to offer a new AppleCare service that will be tailored to meet specific enterprise needs. IT departments and end users will both have access to 24/7 support assistance from Apple and on-site service via IBM.

Tim Cook and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty appeared on CNBC to discuss the news, where Cook said the partnership is about "transforming enterprise" and delivering on "the promise of mobile in a big

iPhone 6 Cases and Images Circulating on Amazon Based on Rumor, Don't Offer Insider Information

Prior to the launch of a new iOS device, accessory manufacturers often create cases months in advance in an attempt to gain publicity and score pre-orders from users eager to protect their new devices. These cases are often created based on leaked schematics and the manufacturers themselves rarely have any information on the devices they're creating cases for beyond what's seen on rumor sites.

While third-party cases for the iPhone 6 have been available for purchase for months, several different cases from popular accessory manufacturer Spigen have been generating a growing amount of interest on Amazon.com.

Spigen has listed multiple cases, both for the 4.7-inch iPhone and the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6, which it has taken to calling the "iPhone Air." MacRumors has been contacted several times in regard to these cases, which many readers believe offer legitimate details on the iPhone 6 because they're coming from a "reputable" source.

Spigen uses photoshopped iPhone 5s images with curved edges to fit into its iPhone 6 cases, which are undoubtedly based on leaked schematics that have been circulating around the Internet for months. The images do not offer any insight into the next-generation iPhone's appearance and Spigen's "iPhone Air" moniker for the 5.5-inch iPhone is a mere guess, based on a term bandied about by Chinese media reports. Spigen's September 30 release date also delivers no inside information about the iPhone 6, as it is a safe date in line with rumors pointing towards an early September introduction.

Along with the cases posted on Amazon by

Apple Said to Be Planning Three iWatch Models from 1.6 to 1.8 Inches, Sapphire on High End

According to a new report [Google Translate] from Taiwan's Economic Daily News (via G for Games), Apple is planning to launch three versions of the iWatch in the third quarter of this year. The lineup is said to include a model with a 1.6-inch display and two models with 1.8-inch displays, with the high-end version of the larger size coming with a sapphire display cover for durability.

The display range of 1.6-1.8 inches has been the focus of most rumors dating back many months, but last month Reuters claimed the device's display will be as large as 2.5 inches.

The launch timeframe for the iWatch has also been the subject of much discussion, with the reliable Re/code claiming last month that Apple has been aiming for an October introduction of its "first wearable device", presumed to be the iWatch. That report did, however, note that Apple's plans could change over time.

A fresh report from relatively reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that the complexity of the iWatch makes it likely that mass production on the device will not begin until November of this year. The two claims are not necessarily in conflict, as with the iWatch being a new product category Apple could make an announcement in October and not launch the device until several months later without impacting sales of its current products. Apple used a similar tactic with the iPhone and iPad, waiting several months between announcement and launch.

Today's report is set in the context of Apple adopting new touch technologies from TPK, with sources also claiming Apple's rumored "iPad Pro" with a

Apple Launches 'iTunes Pass' at Japanese Stores, Enabling Customers to Refill iTunes Credit With Passbook [Updated]

Apple today debuted its new iTunes Pass service in its Japanese retail stores, allowing customers to purchase iTunes Store credit directly without the need for physical gift cards, reports 9to5Mac.

A photo about the feature from Apple's Japanese website (Google Translate)
To use the service, customers add a new iTunes Pass inside of the existing Passbook application found in iOS, and then locate a Specialist inside an Apple Retail Store. Once the iTunes Pass is presented to the Specialist, the customer can say how much money they want added, which is then instantly transferred to an iTunes account.

It is not known when the new service will be rolled out to Apple Retail Stores worldwide, however it is likely that the company is testing the program in Japan ahead of a larger rollout. In 2012, Apple enabled users to store Apple Store gift cards in Passbook, and also allowed users to email Passbook enabled gift card to friends through the app.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that Apple was working on its own mobile payments service, which could be similar to iTunes Pass. According to that report, the company's mobile payment solution would be integrated directly into iOS, allowing people to use their devices to purchase physical goods on the web and in physical retail stores.

Update 1:52 AM: As spotted by iGeneration, the bottom of Apple's Japanese iTunes Gifts page (Google Translate) says that iTunes Pass is not available in Brazil, China, and Turkey. This may indicate that the service may be set up to launch worldwide shortly.

Apple Searching for Retail Employees to Test Upcoming Photos App for OS X

Apple is actively looking for retail employees that are "passionate photography enthusiasts" to test the upcoming Photos app for OS X, reports 9to5Mac.

We are seeking a technical and passionate photography enthusiast to join our Quality Assurance team working on Photos for OS X. You will be part of a fast moving team of specialists tasked with delivering the next generation of photography tools for Apple.
Photos for OS X was briefly introduced at WWDC 2014, as Apple will launch the software early next year. It was also reported last month that the new Photos app will be replacing Apple's existing iPhoto and Aperture programs. Apple revealed that Photos would feature a number of professional-grade features, including image search, editing, effects, and support for third-party extensions.

Apple has invited retail employees to try pre-release software for the past few years. Last year, the company offered beta access to OS X Mavericks and iWork for iCloud last year, which followed access to OS X Mountain Lion in 2012.

Apple Considering Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney for PR Chief Position [Update: Conflicting Reports]

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is one of the candidates being considered to replace Katie Cotton as Apple's new PR head, reports Re/code. In a piece on Uber, Re/code's Kara Swisher suggests that Carney's name is "being bandied about" for the position.

Carney served as White House Press Secretary from 2011 until June of 2014, when he officially resigned. Prior to that, Carney served as director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden and before that, he was the Washington bureau chief for Time magazine.

Katie Cotton, who was Apple's VP of worldwide corporate communications before retiring back in May, served for more than 20 years under both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Cotton was known for being fiercely protective of Apple executives, serving as the gatekeeper for media access and keeping a tight rein on the company's PR operations.

Since Cotton's retirement, Apple has been actively searching for her replacement. Tim Cook is reportedly overseeing the search and hoping to find an external candidate with a "friendly, more approachable face" to replace Cotton as the company strives for greater openness under its new leadership.

Update July 15, 8:35 AM: According to The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, Carney is not under consideration for Apple's PR chief role, and has never even met Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Update July 19, 1:43 PM: : Bloomberg is now reporting that Carney is discussing the PR job with Apple, citing a friend of the former White House press secretary. The source also notes that Carney "hasn't made up his mind."

Note: Due to the

Apple May Part Ways With Ad Agency TBWA, Plans to Tap Beats' Jimmy Iovine for Marketing Revamp

Apple may be planning to part ways with longtime ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab, according to a new report from The New York Post. Citing industry buzz, the report suggests that Apple is ready to put its entire advertising account "up for grabs."

The Cupertino company is also said to be planning to leverage Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine to bolster its marketing efforts. Beats is well-known for its aggressive marketing tactics and clever advertising campaigns that have skyrocketed its headphones to popularity. Most recently, Beats launched a "The Game Before The Game" advertisement for the World Cup, featuring key players wearing Beats headphones.

Beats' most recent advertisement
What's more, the industry is buzzing that Apple will look to music maestro Jimmy Iovine, the boss of newly acquired Beats headphones and its sister music-streaming service, to help it regain its marketing mojo.

"Apple bought Beats for a lot of reasons," said one new business executive at a top agency. "They think they're marketing geniuses. It is safe to assume Beats would be part of an assessment of all [Apple] partners."
Apple's troubles with advertising agency TBWA began back in 2013, after Apple's Phil Schiller sent a tense email to the agency following a line of highly popular Samsung commercials with the tagline "The next big thing is already here."

Apple reportedly considered parting ways with TBWA at that time, but instead began working on building out its own in-house advertising solution while continuing to allow TBWA to produce some of its recent popular advertisements like "Powe

Eddy Cue Auctions Lunch and a MacBook Air to Benefit Basketball Foundation

Following in Tim Cook's footsteps, Apple's SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue is auctioning his time to benefit the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation. Cue is widely known as a huge basketball fan, and has been seen at many basketball games, including those of his favorite team from Duke University, his alma mater.

In an auction on CharityBuzz, Cue is offering a one hour lunch meeting at Apple's Cupertino headquarters and a 13-inch 1.4Ghz MacBook Air with 256 GB of storage, a $1,199 value. The meeting is valid for two people, with lunch included, at a mutually agreed upon date.

Have lunch with Apple, Inc., Senior Vice-President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue at the Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California, and bring home a 13-inch MacBook Air!

Eddy Cue is Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Eddy oversees Apple's industry-leading content stores including the iTunes Store, the revolutionary App Store and the iBookstore, as well as Siri, Maps, iAd and Apple's innovative iCloud services. Eddy's team has an excellent track record of building and strengthening online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of Apple's customers. He is a 25-year Apple veteran and leads a large organization of amazing people.
Cue's auction ends on Wednesday, July 16 and is currently priced at $9,500 with an estimated value of $10,000. The auction was first listed in June, but was noticed earlier today by 9to5Mac.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation is an

Apple Said to Be Working with Intelligent Energy on Fuel Cell Technology for Portable Devices

Fuel cell firm Intelligent Energy may be partnering with Apple to introduce fuel cell technology into future MacBooks and other mobile devices claims a report in The Daily Mail. While the tabloid does not have a strong rumor track record, fuel cells have long been discussed as a possible energy source for portable electronics and there are a few interesting pieces of information linked to the report.

Intelligent Energy recently revealed it purchased patents for mobile fuel cell technology from Eveready in association with a major international electronics company. Though the partner company is not revealed in any public filings, the Daily Mail's sources claim the mystery company is Apple.
Intelligent Energy revealed upon floating that it bought a bundle of patents in tandem with a major ‘international electronics company’.

It has kept the identity of its partner a closely-guarded secret. But a source, who has knowledge of the partnership, confirmed that Apple is the big name working with the Loughborough-based firm.
Intelligent Energy already has ties to Apple, hiring former Apple executive Joe O’Sullivan to serve as its Chief Operating Officer in late 2011. O'Sullivan spent 15 years in operations at Apple, and managed the introduction of the original iMac.

Apple is no stranger to fuel cell technology, filing a pair of patents in 2010 and 2011 that describe the use of the technology in portable computing devices. The Cupertino company also uses fuel cells on a large scale to help power its corporate headquarters and its Maiden, North Carolina data

iPad Implicated in Pediatric Rashes Diagnosed as Nickel Allergies [Updated]

Apple's iPad may be the cause of unexplained allergic rashes in children, reports The Washington Post, which cites a case study of an 11-year-old boy that was published in Pediatrics medical journal.

The Pediatrics article focuses on an 11-year-old boy who may be allergic to the nickel used in the casing of the tablet device. Following the increasing use of an iPad, the patient developed a rash that would not respond to conventional treatment.
His skin tested positive for nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals, and doctors traced it back to an iPad he had used with increasing frequency the past six months. The iPad tested positive for nickel as well, according to the report.
Doctors advised the boy to use a Smart Case that covers the entire outer surface of the tablet. Similar to other reports of electronic device-induced rashes, the boy's skin condition improved significantly when he started using a case that prevented direct contact with the device.

As noted by the Associated Press, nickel allergies in children appear to be on the rise, with 25 percent of those receiving skin tests testing positive for nickel allergies, up from 17 percent a decade ago.

This iPad isn't the only device implicated in skin rashes. Earlier this year, Fitbit voluntarily recalled its Force fitness tracker after a growing number of users developed contact dermatitis from wearing the band. The rash was originally attributed to nickel in the charging port of the band, but that metal may not be involved as many users covered the nickel-containing port with tape and

Apple Facing Production Issues with iPhone 6 as 5.5-Inch Version May Be Delayed Until 2015

The launch of Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may be delayed into 2015 as Apple's production issues with the smaller 4.7-inch version will likely carry over into the larger model, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Production bottlenecks on 4.7-inch iPhone 6 center on the yield rate of in-cell touch panel and metal casing. As in-cell touch panel becomes larger in size, the edge of the panel may become insensitive to touch. Meanwhile, under new manufacturing process for the iPhone 6 metal casing, color unevenness is an issue.
Kuo adds that these problems become more complicated with the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6. As these new concerns are coupled with earlier concerns about the production of sapphire displays for the larger device, the analyst believes that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may not launch by the end of 2014, or may launch after October in very limited quantities. In the event that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is delayed to next year, Kuo believes that Apple will cut the prices of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c alongside the launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

Early rumors about the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 pointed towards production issues with the device's display and battery life. However, a report from Bloomberg last month noted that both models would enter production and launch at the same time. Concerns over the metal casings used for the iPhone 6 were also reported late last month, as Apple rejected casings from partner Catcher Technology. However, those issues were said to be over parts found within the casings as opposed to color disfiguration

FCC Filings Reveal Apple's First-Party iBeacon Hardware

FCC filings discovered by electronics company Securifi (via TUAW) have revealed Apple's plans for first-party iBeacon hardware to go along with the microlocation technology found in iOS. The transmitter is registered as the "Apple iBeacon" and carries a model number of A1573, which is in line with the company's other products.

According to the documents filed by Apple, the iBeacon was tested in collaboration with China-based Audix Technology from April 30 to May 13, 2014. The beacon tested has a diameter of 5.46'' and has a highest working frequency of 2.4GHz, which is in line with modern Bluetooth standards.

Originally introduced at WWDC 2013, iBeacon technology enables iOS devices to communicate with transmitters through Bluetooth in order to deliver relevant information to apps and services when a user is nearby. Apple introduced a "Made for iPhone" iBeacon specification in February, signaling a more primary role for the technology in its devices and services.

So far, however, companies have used third-party transmitters, like the Estimote Beacon to work with the technology and iOS devices. Shopping app Shopkick and Macy's partnered during the holiday season last year to integrate the technology into stores, while Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have used iBeacons to enhance live events.

Apple has also integrated iBeacons into its own retail stores to notify customers about picking up online orders and special upcoming events. Internationally, Virgin Atlantic integrated iBeacons into London's Heathrow Airport to notify users

Samsung Bashes iPad's Screen, Lack of Multitasking in New Galaxy Tab S Ads

Last week, Samsung released an anti-iPhone ad calling iPhone users "wall huggers" in a promotion for its Galaxy S5 smartphone. Today the South Korean company is promoting its new Galaxy Tab S with two new anti-Apple advertisements, bashing the iPad's lack of multitasking and its screen.

In the first ad, Samsung features a crying baby and a dad fighting over an iPad that's unable to display two apps at once. The baby wants to watch a movie while the dad is trying to catch a sports game. A Galaxy Tab S, which can display multiple apps at once, is swapped for the iPad, and suddenly both dad and baby are happy.

"What's going on? Ahhh, it looks like dad's tablet can only do one thing at a time. What if it were a Samsung Galaxy Tab S? With the Galaxy Tab S, the whole family has something to smile about."
The second advertisement pits the display of the iPad against the display of the Galaxy Tab S. In the spot, two friends are watching the same scary movie on an iPad and on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S. A scene depicting a dark figure against a black background is shown on both tablets, with the figure not appearing on the iPad's screen.

What went wrong here? Ahhh, It's not a Super AMOLED. What if it were a Samsung Galaxy Tab S? Compared to many LCDs, Super AMOLEDs give you 100 times higher contrast. Instead of 1000:1, you get 100,000:1 contrast. Conventional LCDs get their color using backlight but Super AMOLEDs turn off pixel by pixel, each emitting their own light. So you get all the fine details and varied shades of black that many LCDs can't show.
First announced in June,

Smartphone Manufacturers 'Lukewarm' on Sapphire, Call Material Impractical Due to Cost and Supply

Rumors have suggested that Apple is using the sapphire garnered from its partnership with GT Advanced to produce sapphire crystal displays for the iPhone 6, and if true, such a move would normally inspire competitors to produce their own devices with sapphire displays.

It does not appear, however, that other major smartphone manufacturers are ready to adopt sapphire as a display solution, due to the expense of the material and its quality compared to the more popular Gorilla Glass.

Engadget, in an in-depth piece on sapphire displays, contacted multiple representatives from major smartphone companies, who had researched sapphire as a possible material and largely decided against it. LG, for example, said the material was too expensive.
"The cost and supply aren't where we'd like them to be for sapphire to be practical just yet," said Ken Hong, Global Communications Director for LG. "Sapphire's durability and scratch-resistance are certainly attractive, but Gorilla Glass isn't going to be displaced anytime soon."
Sapphire is astronomically expensive compared to alternatives like Gorilla Glass, with a pane costing $30 compared to $3. Apple's partnership with GT Advanced has allowed Apple to help fund advanced sapphire production methods that significantly lower manufacturing costs, however, a feat that most manufacturers will be unable to match.

A look at how GT Advanced produces sapphire
Sapphire is an appealing option due to its extreme hardness and its scratch resistance. Rated at a nine on the Mohs hardness scale, few materials aside from diamond can scratch

Apple's Next-Generation A8 Chip Said to Top 2 GHz, Remain Dual-Core

Besides a larger display, Apple's upcoming iPhone 6 also may feature a faster A8 processor that pushes the system-on-a-chip beyond the 2.0 GHz threshold, claims GforGames citing Chinese media source cnBeta [Google Translate].

A7 transistor die photo from Chipworks
According to the latest information, Apple will reportedly increase the CPU frequency of its next-generation SoC to 2.0 GHz or higher per core, up from the 1.3 GHz (iPhone 5s and Retina iPad mini) or 1.4 GHz (iPad Air) of the A7 processor. The chip will keep the 64-bit, dual-core architecture of the current generation A7 CPU, but will be manufactured with a 20-nm process instead of the A7's 28-nm. TSMC and Samsung are thought be the primary manufacturers that are producing the A8 chip for Apple's upcoming iOS devices.

Though competing phones ship with quad-core processors, Apple's possible decision to stay with a dual-core design may be the result of the company using a custom-designed chip optimized for iOS and not an off-the-shelf solution. This optimization already has been shown in the current dual-core A7, which offers "desktop class" performance that outperforms other players in the mobile phone marketplace. In its detailed analysis of the A7 after launch, AnandTech found that even though the A7's performance is top-notch, there was still room for improvement as almost no iOS app took full advantage of A7's available processing

Expert Believes Alleged iPhone 6 Sapphire Front Panel Could Be 'Legitimate'

Earlier this week, numerous videos of the alleged front panel of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 surfaced, which showed the screen being put through stress tests involving significant bending and scratching. While those videos referred to the front panel as being made of sapphire crystal, there was no way to confirm that the display were made of the durable material.

Now, professor Neil Alford, who is a member of the Department of Materials at the Imperial College in London, tells The Guardian that the alleged "sapphire panel" could "well be legitimate." Alford believes that the stress tests performed on the screen indicate that the panel is made of sapphire, adding that Apple likely overcame a number of challenges in making the part thin and durable.

Alford concurs: "In my opinion the screen being shown off in the video could well be a sapphire screen. If you make sapphire thin enough, and it’s flaw free, you can bend it quite considerably because it has an enormous strength."

He added: “I think they will be doing some sort of a lamination – binding different crystal cuts of sapphire together – boosting the toughness of the material, while they may also have induced some sort of a strain in the surface of the glass – either compression or tension – which means that it has extra strength,” he said.
Alford noted that Apple had contacted him in January 2013 to discuss sapphire screens, indicating that Apple has likely been hard at work on creating the screen afterward. Past rumors have suggested that Apple will be using a sapphire display in the iPhone 6, but other reports