It is a known fact that Apple is actively pursuing opening a new plant in Mesa, Arizona with GT Advanced Technologies but for what purpose remains unknown other than the fact it will be used to manufacture Sapphire glass.
Right now Apple utilizes Sapphire glass in the Touch ID sensor and to protect the camera, but there has been speculation that the company could also make the iPhone’s screen out of Sapphire glass.
Now 9To5Mac has gotten hold of information which reveals James J. Patton, Apple’s Deputy Director of Global Trade Compliance has requested for expedited approval from the Foreign-Trade Zone Board for two requests that would allow Apple to meet its timeline of opening the plant by February 2014.
More interesting is the fact that this document reveals Apple is planning to make a critical sub-component for its products at the sapphire plant. Just what could this “critical” component be? Most people’s guess is a screen due to the fact there isn’t much more Apple needs to utilize Sapphire glass for.
Project Cascade will conduct high-tech manufacturing of intermediate goods/components for consumer electronics. All finished components will be exported. This high-tech manufacturing process will create a critical new sub-component of Apple Products to be used in the manufacture of the consumer electronics that will be imported and then sold globally. By pulling this process into the U.S., Apple will be using cutting edge, new technology to enhance and improve the consumer products, making them best in class per product type.
Another speculation is it could be used for Apple’s rumored iWatch as well.
What do you think this critical component is? Drop us a line in the comments section below. I personally hope it’s the display of the iPhone as one of the biggest warranty claims is cracked screens. If iPhone 6 comes with nearly unbreakable sapphire glass display it would dramatically improve durability.