Interesting times, indeed. Apple has purchased a former First Solar factory in Mesa, Arizona where GT Advanced Technologies will manufacture sapphire crystal for use in Apple products.
Currently, sapphire crystals are used in iPhone and iPad camera lens assemblies, as well as the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
We are proud to expand our domestic manufacturing initiative with a new facility in Arizona, creating more than 2,000 jobs in engineering, manufacturing and construction. This new plant will make components for Apple products and it will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one, as a result of the work we are doing with SRP to create green energy sources to power the facility — Apple press statement.
Whereas the company is claiming 2,000 jobs will be created, 1,300 of those will be short-term construction positions while the facility is expected to employ 700 long-term.
Apple is spending about $100 million to acquire the photovoltaic solar cell manufacturing facility, which never went into production. The Cupertino, CA-based iThing maker is lending GT Advanced $578 million to get the project off the ground and rolling.
As with Apple’s North Carolina, Oregon and Nevada data farms, the facility will be 100 percent powered with energy from renewable sources.
Earlier this year, Apple announced that its new Mac Pro, which will ship in December, will be assembled in the USA. That production facility is expected to “create” 200 jobs.
That said, it irritates more than a little to see anything Apple associated with Arizona’s lovely governor Jan Brewer, who also put out a press release.
Source: MacRumors, Wall Street Journal, Phoenix Business Journal