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Apple to Build Sapphire Glass Facility in Mesa, Arizona

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GT Advanced and the State of Arizona announced today that Apple plans to build a manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, where GT will own and operate furnaces and related equipment in order to provide Apple with sapphire glass. The new facility will create an additional 700 jobs (via MacRumors).

The Cupertino-based company will provide GT with a prepayment of $578 million, which the latter will pay back starting in 2015 over 5 years. This, however, doesn’t mean guaranteed volumes, the GT press release notes, but it will require GT to maintain a minimum level of capacity, and the company will enjoy exclusivity terms until the agreement expires.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer saluted Apple’s move to invest in Arizona, build a facility, and create jobs. In fact, Apple’s new facility will create, alongside the 700 jobs mentioned earlier, another 1,300 construction and other associated jobs for the people of Arizona, the press release issued by the State of Arizona reads.

Sapphire glass, the material GT Advanced will provide Apple with, is used by the latter in its iDevices to protect the cameras of the iPhone and the Touch ID for the iPhone 5s.

Apple has confirmed its next US factory in a statement sent to Pocket-Lint:

“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% 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.”

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