Apple to Use Former GT Advanced Mesa, AZ Sapphire Plant to Manufacture Cabinets for its Data Centers

Posted in Apple, Apple News on 09/01/2017 by Chris Hauk


Business Insider reports Apple is seeking approval to use the former GT Advanced sapphire plant located in Mesa, Arizona to produce “finished server assembly cabinets” for use in its U.S. data centers.

Apple to Use Former GT Advanced Mesa Sapphire Plant to Manufacture Data Center Cabinets

The former GTA sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ – Image credit:

A notification published in the Federal Register on Monday said Apple was looking for approval from the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to produce “finished products” in a special zone that exempts it from customs duty payments.

“Apple Inc has repurposed the site as a global data command center that will conduct high-tech manufacturing of finished data center cabinets for other data centers,” according to a document filed by Mesa on behalf of Apple in June and made public Monday.

Apple is seeking the approval to use materials sourced from abroad. A person with knowledge of Apple’s data center plans told Business Insider Apple data center server production will be consolidated in the Mesa facility.

Apple currently builds and tests servers for its Oregon and North Carolina data centers on-site, and follows similar procedures in its global data centers. Once the Mesa facility is ready, the Cupertino firm will build and configure all of its U.S. servers there and ship them to the North Carolina and Oregon facilities.

The Mesa, Arizona facility was originally acquired by Apple for use by sapphire maker GT Advanced. Apple was left holding the facility when the New Hampshire-based company failed to produce sapphire glass up to Apple’s standards and went bankrupt.

Apple announced plans to reuse the plant in 2014, and was reported to be ready to turn the 1.3 million square feet facility into a “global command center” for Apple’s data center network.

(Via MacRumors)


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.