So remember sapphire glass? That thing that Apple was teasing, then swept under the rug when the supplier declared bankruptcy? Many of us were crossing our fingers that the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would feature an incredibly scratch resistant sapphire glass display, and Apple may have had its finger crossed as well. With the bankruptcy of sapphire manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies Inc. though, Apple has other plans for the massive 1.3 million square foot warehouse: convert it into a data center. They’re going to drop $2 billion on renovating and outfitting the space. Bloomberg reports:
The data center will employ 150 full-time Apple employees and will create 300 to 500 construction and trade jobs, Doug Ducey, Arizona’s governor, said in a telephone interview. The factory will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, including from a new local solar farm, Apple said.
Apple acquired this factory after signing a 99-year lease, intending it to be used to manufacture sapphire glass displays. It’s good to see that they are being innovative with what they have, giving a silver lining to the unfortunate situation.
The data center will put Apple in a very competitive position with other cloud service giants like Google. The data center will also allow Apple to expand applications of Siri.
Where our sapphire glass is coming from remains to be seen, but we hope it doesn’t hinder the release of the Apple Watch, which should be soon.
Featured image courtesy Area Negra