It was recently announced that Apple will be building a new advanced sapphire manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, bringing a portion of its device production back to the US. The announcement was made by Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, who highlighted Apple’s latest initiative as a growth driver for the state. Brewer mentioned the project will create at least 700 “quality” jobs in the first year alone as well as an additional 1,300 construction jobs associated with the facility’s construction.
Brewer said the following regarding the matter:
Apple is indisputably one of the world's most innovative companies and I'm thrilled to welcome them to Arizona. Apple will have an incredibly positive economic impact for Arizona and its decision to locate here speaks volumes about the friendly, pro-business climate we have been creating these past four years. Their investment in renewable energy will also be greening our power grid, and creating significant new solar and geothermal power sources for the state.
For those of you who didn’t know, in 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned he wanted to bring back some of the company’s outsourced manufacturing jobs to the US. Currently, partners such as Foxconn and Pegatron build the majority of Apple’s devices. It was reported in June that Apple would hand off manufacturing of the upcoming Mac Pro to Flextronics, which would in turn assemble the desktop on US shores.
Also, with the recent news, Apple isn’t being coy in its belief that sapphire is the material of choice for certain applications. What remains unknown is which parts will be manufactured at the Arizona plant; though Apple currently uses the material as a cover glass for the iPhone 5S’ touch ID fingerprint sensor, as well as the handset’s rear-facing camera. Ultimately, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Source: Arizona Governor (PDF)