It looks like Apple
is trying to drum up some good will and earn brownie points as of late by expanding its manufacturing presence in the U.S. Following a recent announcement that its revamped Mac Pro
will be assembled in the Texas, Apple now says it's planning to erect a manufacturing facility further west in Airzona.
Mesa is the lucky destination within Arizona where the plant will go. It's expected to create at least 700 jobs during the first year alone, along with 1,300 openings for construction workers. That's 2,000 jobs, more than a third of which are long-term positions.
"This new plant will make components for Apple products and it will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one," an Apple spokeswoman told AllThingsD
It's not clear what specific components the facility will be responsible for, though in related news, GT Advanced Technologies announced a day earlier that it signed a multi-year agreement with Apple to build sapphire material in Mesa, Arizona. The assumption we come away with is that Apple probably plans to use sapphire in the construction of its next generation touchscreens.
No matter what the plant builds, this is a pretty big deal. Some recent number crunching by Tim Worstall over at Forbes
suggested that the cost to build iPhones in the U.S. would be $4.2 billion higher
than it is in China, and that could be a conservative estimate. Granted, building materials for touchscreens is a far cry from shifting iPhone manufacturing, but it's still nice to see Apple expanding its presence here at home.