Apple has announced it will open a major new manufacturing facility in Arizona in order to ensure a ready supply of components for its new line of iPhone devices.
The firm said the facility in Mesa, Arizona, would create 700 new jobs directly and some 1,300 indirectly, and would be powered by green energy sources such as solar panels. The facility will include production of sapphire components used for the iPhone 5S’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
Apple said the facility underlined the firm’s desire to bring production of its products to the US and touted the site's green credentials
“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,” the firm said in a statement, as reported by the Associated Press.
“This new plant will make components for Apple products and it will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.”
In order to secure the components it needs for future iPhone models, Apple is providing a loan of $578m to a firm called GT Advanced Technologies, which will then be paid back to Apple over the next five years, beginning in 2015.
Tom Gutierrez, GT's chief executive, said the deal was a major boost for the firm: “We are very excited about this agreement with Apple as it represents a significant milestone in GT's long term diversification strategy.”
Arizona governor Jan Brewer was also upbeat after the announcement, saying the decision by Apple was great news for the state: “Apple is indisputably one of the world’s most innovative companies and I’m thrilled to welcome them to Arizona,” she said.
“Their investment in renewable energy will also be greening our power grid, and creating significant new solar and geothermal power sources for the state.”
Apple's launch of its latest flagship iPhone 5S device saw many shortages of the phone as manufacturers struggled to ship enough units to meet huge customer demand.
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