Apple Begins Hiring for Arizona Sapphire Plant with Focus on iPhone and iPod

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple yesterday posted a trio of job listings (via 9to5Mac) for positions located in Mesa, Arizona where the company is building a sapphire manufacturing plant. The facility is to be owned by Apple and run by sapphire producer GT Advanced Technologies, although the new job listings confirm that Apple will have some of its own staff on hand as well.

    Furnaces for sapphire production
    Sapphire is currently used to protect the cameras on several recent iPhone models, as well as the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s, with the material's high durability and resistance to scratching making it a key component for those applications. Apple's commitment to the new sapphire production facility has led to speculation that Apple is preparing to significantly expand its use of sapphire glass, perhaps for the company's rumored iWatch or to protect iOS device displays.

    Among the three Apple job listings for Mesa, one is for a facilities manager to oversee operation of the facility, while the other two positions relate to design and quality engineering with iPhone and iPod products specifically mentioned in the listings.
    Apple's mention of the positions relating to iPhone and iPod manufacturing of course does not indicate whether or not the company may have broader plans for sapphire such as an in iWatch.

    Article Link: Apple Begins Hiring for Arizona Sapphire Plant with Focus on iPhone and iPod
  2. Sure, Not macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2014
    Nice to see them slowly moving production to the US.
  3. ZOZO macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2013
    Hope the Chinese can still find jobs if we move all our production back home.
  4. joshwenke macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2011
    San Jose, CA
    I'm glad Apple's moving some production to the US! Poor Chinese though, they might need to look for other jobs! :p
  5. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
  6. Jsameds macrumors 68030

    Apr 22, 2008
  7. Daws001 macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2011
    The States
    I wonder if anyone will fall into one of the sapphire vats and gain sapphire skin and powers.
  8. ryansimmons323 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    Whoever gets that management job will have some interesting contacts within Apple.
  9. AngerDanger macrumors 68030

    Dec 9, 2008
    I have a feeling that one of the fastest growing economies will be able to weather Apple opening a saphire plant in Arizona. :p
  10. PsykX macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2006
    Don't know how they will succeed in marketing saphire in their products anymore, when Gorilla Glass just announced a new version that is 2.5x stronger than saphire and with a bonus anti-microbial feature...
  11. LadyApple macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2013
    Yezzzz!!!!! Ipod!!!! I love my iPod touch. Who needs an iPhone?:D
  12. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    Stronger in what way? Is it denser than sapphire? If not then sapphire is still more scratch proof along with better material for finger print scanners and cameras. Also at what point does "stronger" matter any more? It can already take like 150 pounds in a direct area.
  13. azentropy macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Yep, GG is stronger but Sapphire is still much more scratch resistant. At some things (like where Apple uses it for the camera lens and the finger print) that really is more important.
  14. TC03 macrumors 65816

    Aug 17, 2008
    I wonder if Apple will use sapphire displays in the next iPhone and iPad.
  15. Supermule macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2012
  16. pete2106 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2012
    I'd love to see them do a new keyboard for the Desktops with a touch ID sensor in it. It would save so much time if it was integrated with iCloud Keychain. Although it would raise some issues with data security (I would imagine your fingerprint data would have to be uploaded to their servers) I'm sure they could find a way around it.
  17. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Aren't gorilla glass and sapphire used for different things?
  18. osx11, Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014

    osx11 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    I think this will be for a smart watch.

    Real high end watches have used saphire glass for decades. It is a matter of fact that watches take a beating since you can't (really) put them in a case. This would make sense and the fact that Apple is putting so much effort behind this suggests that is more than merely an expansion of TouchID technology.
  19. bushman4 macrumors 68000

    Mar 22, 2011
    Maybe Apple is expanding Touch ID to its IPad line. As for a Sapphire Screen. Wonder what the advantage would be to Apple
  20. osx11 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    This is obviously for the all new iPod Classic!
  21. SeanMcg macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2004
    This is where Tim Cook's expertise in managing the supply chain and knowing the manufacturing side of the house is going to come in handy. It is also where Apple can probably do the most good with its cash; slowly rebuilding manufacturing capability that has been lost. There's a lot that goes into that, and Apple can't do it by themselves, but the sapphire plant and the MacPro assembly facility are good starts.
  22. CFreymarc Suspended

    Sep 4, 2009
    If anything this recession has brought landlords to their knees in some places. I don't blame Apple at all for purchasing the facility. A rise in rent of an industrial plant can kill a small business.
  23. citi macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2006
    Simi Valley, CA
    People don't buy Apple products because of what glass material they use. It's all transparent to them. (See what I did there?)
  24. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    seems like everybody is happy to see this happening.
  25. perealb macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2009
    I agree. Hopefully they will set this trend also.

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