Nation & World News

Apple’s Decision To Make Glass In Arizona Will Create Hundreds Of Jobs

By Bill Chappell on November 6th, 2013

Technology giant Apple is buying a large manufacturing space in Arizona, where high-tech glass for its devices will be produced. The move is being hailed in Arizona, where the economy remains slowed by the U.S. housing market crisis.

From Phoenix, Mark Moran of member station KJZZ reports for our Newscast unit:

“Between the people needed to get an abandoned building ready to makes Apple’s sapphire glass and those who will actually make it, the tech giant’s foray into Arizona will create about 2,000 jobs in an area still struggling to recover from the housing bust that left many more than that out of work.

“Apple bought an abandoned solar power company building in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, and expects its sapphire operation to start generating significant revenue for the company next year.

“The sapphire glass will actually be made by GT Advanced Technologies, a supplier for Apple, and used in the covers for the camera lenses in Apple’s phones and the fingerprint-reading devices in some of its other products.”

The facility is expected to employ 700 workers in its first year of operation; before then, the project will create 1,300 construction jobs.

The factory was originally built by First Solar, but it was never occupied due to the recent collapse of solar panel prices that led First Solar to contract its business model, as The Arizona Republic reports.

“This is a large structure,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said, according to KJZZ. “It’s larger than a regional mall where we all go shopping. That’s a lot of square footage. It’s gotta be built out so that it can be a manufacturing facility.”

The mayor added that Apple plans to give the factory a clean energy footprint, relying on renewable solar and geothermal power.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s office and the Arizona Commerce Authority announced the project Monday, ending weeks of speculation.

Sapphire glass is a transparent form of aluminum oxide. MacRumors explains how Apple might use it:

“Apple currently uses small pieces of sapphire glass — which provides superior durability and scratch resistance to other forms of glass — to protect the cameras on the iPhone and on the home button for the new Touch ID-equipped iPhone 5s.”

The site also notes that sapphire glass is widely used in upscale wristwatches. But its use could be widespread. In September, an Apple patent for fusing sapphire glass to device covers was published.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Former Massey Energy Company Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship, seen in July 2010, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges associated with the 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 men.

U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Gag Order In Mine Disaster Case

Dozens of news organizations, including NPR, appealed after a judge issued the gag order in a criminal case involving ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster.


Plane Skids Off Runway At New York’s LaGuardia; No Injuries

The Delta Air Lines flight inbound from Atlanta slid off the runway and into a fence on the side of the tarmac. There were no immediate reports of injuries.


Michael Brown’s Family Will File Civil Suit Over His Death

The news comes a day after the Justice Department cleared Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown, in a civil rights probe — and gave a scathing appraisal of the Ferguson Police Department.


British filmmaker Leslee Udwin addresses a news conference on her documentary India's Daughter on Tuesday. The film, which has been banned in India, was broadcast Wednesday in the U.K. — a decision that has angered the Indian government.

India Threatens BBC Over Decision To Air Rape Documentary In U.K.

The government, which has banned the Indian media from broadcasting India’s Daughter or even showing clips from it pending an investigation, also ordered YouTube to take down the documentary.


In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston on Dec. 18, 2014, for a pretrial hearing. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Second-Day Proceedings Under Way In Boston Marathon Trial

Jurors will hear more testimony in the trial of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the accused bomber, a day after a dramatic admission of guilt and often-heartbreaking accounts from victims of the deadly 2013 attack.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments