Arizona governor Janice Brewer announced on Monday that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be opening a manufacturing plant in east Mesa. The plant will generate more than 700 manufacturing jobs, and another 1,300 construction related jobs. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) purchased a now vacant factory of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), and will lease it to its supplier GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT).
New plant to produce sapphire glass for Apple products
GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT) said in a regulatory filing that it has struck a $578 million deal with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Cupertino-based tech giant will prepay $578 million to GT Advanced Technologies Inc. to supply furnaces and equipment for the facility, the New Hampshire-based company will pay that amount back over a five year period starting 2015.
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The Mesa plant will be run by GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT). It will manufacture specialty sapphire glass that are highly scratch-resistant. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) uses sapphire glass in cameras and home buttons of its iPhones. The Tim Cook-led company’s investment in boosting the production of sapphire glass indicates that the company may also use it for the upcoming products.
Apple brings manufacturing back to the U.S.
Though Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) didn’t disclose how much it has spent to acquire the vacant plant in Mesa, experts believe that the company spent in excess of $100 million. For years, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has outsourced most of its manufacturing activity to Chinese vendors including Foxconn Technology Group. The company has been widely criticized for shifting jobs overseas. More recently, Tim Cook has tried to bring some of the manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
However, it’s still unclear what incentives Arizona offered the tech behemoth to seal the deal. Arizona governor Janice Brewer said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s presence will have a positive economic impact on the state.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had previously expressed interest in setting up a plant in Phoenix area. But the company later decided to build that plant in Austin, Texas.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares rose 1.29% to $526.75 in pre-market trading.