At the end of last year we commented on the agreement between Apple and GT Advanced Technologies, which covers the creation of a sapphire glass factory in Mesa, Arizona.
Today the 9to5Mac brought new information about this facility from conversations between officials in the American Foreign Trade Zone (US Foreign Trade Zone) and Jason Patton, the company’s deputy director of global trade compliance.
According to the documents, the Apple plans involve opening the factory as early as February (which is even considered “aggressive” by Patton). The most interesting thing, however, is how Apple plans to use sapphire glass. See this excerpt from the document:
2. Provide a brief summary (usually no more than a few paragraphs) of the proposed activity to be carried out under the FTZ procedures[[Foring-Trade Zone].
The Cascata Project[[Project Cascade]will lead the manufacture of high-tech intermediate goods / components for consumer electronic products. All manufactured components will be exported. This high-tech manufacturing process will create a new critical sub-component for Apple products to be used in the manufacture of consumer electronics that will be imported and sold globally. Carrying out this process in the US, Apple will use new cutting-edge technologies to enhance and improve consumer products, making them the best in their categories.
Creation of a new critical sub-component for Apple products that will be exported and used in iGadgets sold globally? It looks like a new canvas, right? Apparently, sapphire glass is more resistant to scratches than the Gorilla Glass used today – however nothing about resistance to falls / impacts has been commented.
In addition to sapphire glass, other processes such as diamond cuts (used today in the manufacture of iPhones 5 / 5s, iPads and Mac Pro frames) will also be made at this new facility in Arizona.
Tim Cook was no joke when he said that Mac Pro production in the United States was just the beginning of, say, a more nationalist movement from Apple.