Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Plans Data Center In Place of Botched Arizona Sapphire Plant

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has plans to convert an Arizona factory into a data center after the facility failed to produce the sapphire screens for iPhone. For the purpose, the tech giant will be investing around $2 billion.

Apple making big investment in the U.S.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) data center will employ around 150 full-time employees, along with 300 to 500 construction and trade jobs, Doug Ducey, Arizona’s governor told Bloomberg. Along with this, the company describes that factory is very cost efficient as it will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

“I got the impression from Apple that they wanted to do the right thing and we’re excited that they are doing it here in Arizona,” Ducey said.

In addition, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also looking forward into some more investment in the state. The company will invest to build and finance solar projects, which will produce enough energy to power more than 14,500 Arizona homes.

In an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, the company’s spokeswoman wrote “We’re proud to continue investing in the U.S. with a new data center in Arizona, which will serve as a command center for our global networks,” adding, “this multibillion-dollar project is one of the largest investments we’ve ever made.”

Fewer jobs than before

More than 1.3 million square-foot building was once a solar panel factory. The factory was a key part of Apple’s effort to bring the manufacturing back to the U.S. A data center will bring fewer jobs, when to a factory producing components for the iPhone.

Previously, the factory was used by GT Advanced Technologies, who promised to produce screens of usable quality at the Apple owned factory in Mesa. However, GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy protection in October, and failed to fulfill the terms of an agreement with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Initially, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and GT Advanced entered into a $100-a-year lease for the Mesa factory. In return, GT committed to make $578 million in prepayment loans. In its Bankruptcy filing, GT described the terms of the deal with Apple as “onerous and massively one-sided.” Following the settlement between the companies in December, GT was allowed to use the factory through December 2015.