Apple and GT Advanced Reach Settlement on Remaining Sapphire Debt

Apple and its former sapphire supplier GT Advanced have reached an agreement that will allow GT Advanced to absolve itself of the remaining $439 million that it owes Apple, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Under the settlement, GT Advanced will host an auction on November 23 to get rid of the equipment that it contributed to the sapphire making process, with the proceeds being split between the two companies. Equipment that does not sell during the auction will be given to Apple.

While GT intends to hang on to some of the equipment–as many as 600 sapphire-making furnaces–it is prepared to auction what it can and abandon what it can’t cart off, court papers say.

Anything not sold will be handed over to Apple, which has agreed to scrap the equipment and extinguish the loan it made to transform GT from an equipment manufacturer into a supplier of smartphone-screen material.

Following the dissolution of the relationship between GT Advanced and Apple, GT Advanced agreed to sell off its sapphire furnaces to repay the loan Apple had provided to buy the equipment in the first place. Over the course of the past year, GT Advanced has been unable to find a buyer for the sapphire furnaces.

GT Advanced and Apple originally partnered up to produce sapphire displays for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s Plus, but the deal soured when GT Advanced was unable to meet deadlines and produce sapphire that met Apple’s standards. GT Advanced filed for bankruptcy in October of 2014, laying off more than 700 employees and shuttering the Mesa, Arizona factory, which Apple is repurposing as a data center.

Apple and GT Advanced’s new agreement is set to be finalized following the approval of a bankruptcy judge.

Tag: GT Advanced
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How we put the Mac-gic in Cult of Mac’s videos

Want a sneak peek behind the scenes of Cult of Mac? In my tech-setup tour video below, I’ll show you where I produce and edit all the videos for the site, and what kind of equipment I use to do it. This is one of the most-requested videos I’ve had so far, so I won’t […]

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Philips Hue Gaining Apple HomeKit Support This Fall [iOS Blog]

Philips on Monday morning confirmed that its series of connected smart light bulbs, Philips Hue, will begin supporting Apple HomeKit sometime in the Fall. First announced nearly a year ago at last year’s WWDC, HomeKit is Apple’s home automation platform that aims to give developers and manufacturers a standardized framework to build devices that interact not only with Apple’s products but one another as well.

According to Philips, all current Hue owners will be able to upgrade their existing home systems to take advantage of Hue’s interaction with HomeKit. Unfortunately, besides confirming the partnership and that current Hue owners will be able to take advantage of it, Philips didn’t reveal any other information today, besides that the company plans to give out „more detailed information“ this September.

Philips’ announcement of HomeKit support comes a few days after the first products compatible with the Apple home automation platform entered the market. Led by companies like Elgato, iHome, and Lutron, the HomeKit-supported devices allow users to measure air quality, control power to various electrical outlets, and even control lighting with a wireless dimmer.

Since the Philips Hue lighting system currently requires a wireless hub directly connected to a router to function, it’s unclear whether the HomeKit upgrade will require a simple software update or need some actual new piece of equipment to work properly. The company did note that, „Philips Hue will help existing users to upgrade their system,“ whenever the update does go live. Philips encourages those interested in the HomeKit-related news, and general announcements from the company regarding Hue, to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the summer, leading up to its September announcement.





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Car Audio Installer Creates Custom Entertainment System Using iPads, Apple TV [iOS Blog]

Before heading on a road trip from Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona with his family to watch spring training baseball, MacRumors forum member and car audio installer Wesley, otherwise known as MrMacMini, decided that some entertainment would be needed for the five-hour drive. With a love for both Apple products and car audio installations, he decided to create his own entertainment system based on a pair of iPads, an Apple TV and Alpine headrest monitors in his 2011 Toyota Sienna.

The custom in-car entertainment system consists of a removable iPad mini retrofitted into the vehicle’s dashboard, alongside two discontinued Alpine PKG-M780 headrest monitors in the rear that mirror an iPad 2 over AirPlay using a third-generation Apple TV. The setup also includes a 1TB Seagate Wireless Plus hard drive and Alpine CDE-HD149BT head unit for AM, FM, HD Radio, CDs and Bluetooth streaming audio. Wesley also purchased factory brackets to mount the head unit in the factory rear DVD player location.

„The iPad mini sends the sound via Bluetooth to the Alpine head unit. I opted for keeping a head unit so that I can still use the steering controls and have access the radio, in case 1 day I forget the iPad at home,“ explains Wesley. „The rear screens run independent. My daughters can watch anything they want via the Apple TV and the 1TB wireless Seagate. If we all want to want to watch the same thing, I have it set up so that I can AirPlay from the iPad mini to the Apple TV and have the sound feed back through the Alpine head unit.“

Equipment Used

  1. iPad mini 3 running iOS 8.1 (jailbroken) — in the dash, fully removable
  2. iPad 2 — used for rear monitors
  3. Apple TV 3 — used for rear monitors
  4. Alpine CDE-HD149BT — AM/FM/HD Radio/CD/BT streaming audio head unit
  5. Alpine PKG-M780 (discontinued) – Dual 7″ headrest monitors
  6. Seagate Wireless Plus – 1TB HDD

A complete gallery of before and after photos, including pictures of the individual parts and assembly process, can be found within the discussion forums. For those without the DIY savviness to create their own in-car entertainment system, Alpine has partnered with Apple as an official maker of aftermarket CarPlay systems, which bring Maps, Messages, Phone, Music and Siri to the dashboard, for between $700 to $1400 depending on the unit.

Given that certain car manufacturers are only now beginning to roll out CarPlay support in select new vehicles, and the expensive price tag of aftermarket systems by Alpine and Pioneer, this custom Apple-powered entertainment system could be a more affordable, not to mention cool, alternative for those that may have an iPad or two kicking around the house. If you have any Apple-related DIY projects, past or present, be sure to let us know by sending us a tip.




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ILE Equipment bags are made in America but big in Japan

BERKELEY, Calif. — ILE is big in Japan. The California bag company has found a market with the Japanese bike website Blue Lug, and the collaboration keeps pushing ILE into new bags, materials, hardware and color choices. Eric Fischer, 26,…Read more ›



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MacBook Air survives 1,000-foot plunge out of plane

; Imagine cruising low around South Africa in your small plane at 105 knots. You’re enjoying the scenery below when all the sudden your plane’s canopy pops open just wide enough to send your bag with a MacBook Air plummeting…Read more ›



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