Apple issues a statement regarding sapphire protection on iPhone 7 camera lens

Coverage of YouTuber JerryRigEverything's scratch test of the iPhone 7's iSight camera lens wasn't lost on Apple. In the video, the device's camera lens is shown attracting scratch marks at a level six on the Mohs scale of hardness. That's quite surprising given both the official iPhone stats webpage and Apple's marketing boss Phil Schiller insist all current iPhones use sapphire for camera lens protection.

Now, pure sapphire crystal should sustain scratches up to a level nine, so it's odd that the iPhone 7's camera lens would scratch more easily than it should. As it turns out, the sapphire “issue” was serious enough to warrant an official statement from Apple.

Video: all iPhone sapphire lenses scratch tested

As you may know, Apple's marketing boss Phil Schiller recently insisted that rumors of the iPhone 7's Home button and camera lens not being covered in pure sapphire were false. However, YouTuber JerryRigEverything has found that these parts do leave scratch marks at a level six on the Mohs scale of hardness, which is odd given that pure sapphire crystal should sustain scratches up to a level nine.

Apple on its website states that all of the iPhones it currently sells offer sapphire protection for the Touch ID sensor and iSight camera, which doesn't explain why these parts appear to scratch more easily than they should.

Could Apple be using a sapphire/glass hybrid or even a normal tempered glass rather than a 100 percent sapphire crystal? That's what JerryRigEverything set out to find in a comprehensive scratch test video of the iPhone SE/6/6s/7 series.

iPhone 7 torture tests show low chance of bending, camera cover & Touch ID scratch easily

Apple’s new iPhone 7 & 7 Plus are just now starting to get into consumers’ hands, and as a result, the run of the mill stress and torture tests have been ongoing since the end of this past week.

The iPhone 7 has proved to be very reliable in water resistance testing, as well as in drop testing, but there are other forms of durability tests too that might tickle your interest.

Reports of iPhone 7 Home button and camera lens not covered in sapphire are false

I've seen a few reports on the web claiming that the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do not use sapphire crystal to protect the Touch ID sensor on the non-moving Home button and the camera lens. It would make sense for everybody to stop worrying because these reports are simply not true.

According to Apple's marketing boss Phil Schiller on Twitter, both new iPhone models use sapphire protection for the Home button and camera lens, just like before.

Display expert explains why Apple Watch sapphire crystal degrades image quality

After putting the stainless steel Apple Watch through a barrage of excruciating screen benchmarks, display expert Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies has determined that its sapphire protection actually degrades image quality.

But it's not Apple's fault, really. Even though sapphire is the second-hardest transparent material after diamond, the substance suffers from a higher reflectance versus a less expensive ion-strengthened glass utilized on the entry-level aluminum Apple Watch Sport as well as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.

Diamond-testing Apple Watch sapphire screen

After quite literally subjecting the Apple Watch Sport’s Ion-X glass to the knife in a  recent scratch test video, YouTuber 'Unbox Therapy' is back with another cool test.

This time around, he's evaluating the Apple Watch's sapphire-coated screen with a diamond tester and comparing it to the Apple Watch Sport, LG's G Watch R, the iPhone 6 and a high-end analog watch by Tissot, which uses sapphire for protection.

He came away fairly impressed with Apple's sapphire, concluding it does match those of classic sapphire watches. Sapphire, for those wondering, is the second-hardest transparent substance after diamond. Have a look at the video and tell us what you think in the comment section.

Scratch that: Apple Watch sapphire screen can take a beating

The iPhone 6, before it launched, was expected to feature an ultra-durable sapphire screen. So everyone wanted to get their hands on the material and put it through the ringer, to see how it would hold up in both every-day and not-so-every-day usage.

Well the Apple Watch, set to launch later this month, actually does have a sapphire screen, so naturally people are going to want to put it to the test too. In fact, the folks over at iPhonefixed already have, and they've uploaded a video of the torture session.

Failed sapphire plant to become global command center for Apple cloud

Apple's dream of engineering an unbreakable iPhone has shattered spectacularly to pieces after its ambitiously conceived manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona has failed to produce sapphire-hardened sheets of glass on an industrial scale, prompting its partner GT Advanced Technology to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But that doesn't mean there's no just as grand plan B for the mega-facility.

Bloomberg is reporting, and Apple has confirmed, that the Arizona plant will become a “command center” for Apple's worldwide network of data center.

Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion plant rumored to produce iPhone sapphire screens

Its deal with GT Advanced Technology — which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to ramp up sapphire production in time for the iPhone 6 launch — has collapsed but Apple isn't giving up on the precious gemstone entirely yet.

A report Wednesday by Focus Taiwan alleged that Foxconn's upcoming $2.6 billion facility in central China will be churning out screens for Apple's mobile devices that use synthetic sapphire crystals for increased durability and protection.

GT Advanced creditors complain about getting ‘too little’ in proposed Apple settlement

As Apple moves to repurpose the Mesa, Arizona plant it sought to run with the now bankrupt GT Advanced Technology, Reuters is reporting Wednesday that GT's creditors aren't all too happy about the agreement.

Even though the iPhone maker is committed to keeping the Arizona facility alive despite the failed sapphire manufacturing agreement with GT, creditors in a bankruptcy court filing noted that GT “may have gotten too little” in the proposed settlement with Apple.

Apple keeping Arizona plant despite GT Advanced bankruptcy

Apple plans to keep the sapphire production factory it built with GT Advanced in Mesa, Arizona, according to a report from Bloomberg. The outlet says the company has told officials that it's committed to bringing jobs and manufacturing to the area, despite GT's bankruptcy.

"They’ve indicated their commitment to us: They want to repurpose that building and use it again," Mesa City Manager Christopher Brady told Bloomberg. "Apple is focused on preserving jobs and promised to “work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps."