Apple is converting its failed sapphire screen plant into a data center


After the debacle with GT Advanced Technologies, Apple has been left with a massive factory in Arizona that is basically just sitting there doing nothing. Since the factory is no longer able to pop out sapphire screens for the company’s mobile devices, Apple has decided to invest $2 billion into the 1.3 million-square-foot building to turn it into a data center. 

Apple Inc. plans to invest $2 billion to convert an Arizona factory into a data center after the facility failed to produce sapphire screens for iPhones. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in October after the supplier wasn’t able to produce screens of usable quality at the Apple-owned factory in Mesa, near Phoenix. The smaller company wasn’t able to fulfill the terms of an agreement with Apple. The more than 1.3 million-square-foot building, which was once a solar-panel factory, was a key part of Apple’s efforts to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. after years of relying on Asian suppliers to build the company’s iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. While Apple had promised to bring jobs to the area even after the bankruptcy, the data center will probably employ fewer staff compared with an operation churning out components for iPhones.

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