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

Authorities Lose Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft

The MD83 aircraft was about an hour into its flight from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers. It was carrying 116 passengers, including six crew members.


An undated file photo from the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was executed Wednesday. After the lethal injection process began, Wood reportedly remained alive for nearly two hours.

Arizona Execution Of Inmate Takes Nearly 2 Hours

Officials who were attempting to put inmate Joseph Wood to death instead watched him gasp and snort for more than an hour, Wood’s attorney says. Gov. Jan Brewer has ordered a review of the process.


Campaign Finance Transparency Bill Gets Chilly Reception In Senate

The legislation would require any politically active group that spends more than $10,000 to list its donors.


Squatters living at the Tower of David, an abandoned, unfinished skyscraper in Caracas, began to be evicted and relocated Tuesday.

Fall Of The Tower Of David: Squatters Leave Venezuela’s Vertical Slum

The half-finished skyscraper in Caracas, home to thousands of poor residents, is being emptied. The tower made an appearance in the Showtime series Homeland.


A burned-out car sits in front of a ruined house in this photo taken Sunday near Pateros, Washington. Large fires have destroyed hundreds of homes in the state this month.

Obama Declares Emergency As Huge Fires Burn In Washington State

Fire crews have been battling several major fires in central and eastern Washington, including one that has stretched over 250,000 acres.


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