Reports indicate that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning on constructing a Mesa facility in Arizona that will be used for high-tech manufacturing. The report further indicates that among the products that could be manufactured at the facility include data center server products. This is according to a federal government notice that was published in the Federal Register on Monday.
“Apple Inc has repurposed the site as a global data command center that will conduct high-tech manufacturing of finished data center cabinets for other data centers,” reads the document that City of Mesa Office of Economic Development filed on behalf of Apple about half a year ago but which was only made public on Monday.
Foreign-Trade Zones Board
Last year in June, a company executive had written to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board seeking approval while citing that the company wanted to start production in September 2016.
The report comes in the wakes of attacks by President-elect Trump on U.S. companies that have moved their manufacturing abroad. Apple has particularly been criticized for contracting the manufacturing of the iPhone to China.
A bid by Apple to manufacture and assemble in the United States would be a departure from the norm since most tech companies prefer outsourcing those functions to other countries where labor costs are lower. In Apple’s case, however, the product is not aimed at the consumer segment but rather for its own internal use.
Consolidation Data Centergear Building Efforts
For Apple’s data centers located in North Carolina and Oregon, the servers are built and tested at the sites. What Apple now intends to do is to centralize those efforts and then have the servers shipped to its other data centers in the United States.
The Mesa facility is owned by Apple and had previously been leased to one of the tech giant’s suppliers. While the facility initially got its special foreign-trade-zone status in early 2014, the supplier declared bankruptcy before production of sapphire screen coverings that Apple had contracted the supplier to build could be completed. The facility’s most recent purpose was storing and serving iTunes and iCloud backups.
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