02 Feb Apple Converting Arizona Plant Into $2 Billion Data Center
Apple is slated to spend $2 billion in repurposing an old sapphire glass plant to create a data and command center located in Mesa, Ariz. In addition, the new facility will serve as a hub for Apple’s data activity worldwide and keep jobs in the area.
The project involves converting a plant formerly occupied by GT Advanced Technologies (GT), the company Apple hired to manufacture sapphire screens. Apple acquired the plant in November 2013 and leased it to GT for production, a move that was expected to create management jobs and result in scratch-resistant screens for Apple products.
In October 2014, less than one year later, GT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable “to produce screens of usable quality,” reports Bloomberg. The company could not fulfill the terms of an agreement it previously made with Apple.
GT has since stated that it was victimized by “a classic bait-and-switch strategy” from the tech giant, which presented the smaller company with “an onerous and massively one-sided deal,” back when their partnership sparked in fall of 2013, wrote GT COO Daniel Squiller, according to CNBC.
Apple will use the 1.3 million-sq.-ft. facility to house its expanding cloud and data management businesses, which have become essential to its desktop and mobile platforms. The converted plant will serve as a data center and command center for managing Apple’s other data centers and networks that handle operations for iTunes, Siri, iCloud, and other services.
The $2 billion investment, one of the largest in Apple’s history, is expected to stretch over 10 years with a 30-year commitment from Apple to maintain the plant, Daniel Scarpinato, spokesman for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, emailed Reuters.