Pact between Mesa, Apple supplier would give factory competitive edge

Apple could change the Touch ID module design by replacing previously used chemicals with tin to enhance durability. / Reuters
Apple could change the Touch ID module design by replacing previously used chemicals with tin to enhance durability. / Reuters

By Maria Polletta, The Republic | azcentral.com

Last fall, residents and officials alike applauded the news that an Apple Inc. supplier would begin manufacturing high-tech glass for the technology giant in Mesa.

But the much-heralded announcement was only the first in a series of steps needed to get GT Advanced Technologies — and the 700 people it ultimately plans to employ — churning out the scratch-resistant sapphire glass at the former First Solar factory.

As the plant inches closer to completion, the Mesa City Council is poised to approve one such step, an operator agreement that would offer GTAT a competitive advantage via the creation of a foreign-trade subzone.

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