Back entrance to GTAT’s sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
Apple’s sapphire ambitions with GT Advanced Technology have been a complete disaster. But even though the plan to turn Mesa, Arizona, into the Sapphire Capital of the West failed, Apple executives are still looking for a way to repurpose GT’s new factory.
The city of Mesa and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer bent over backward to bring Apple to the Grand Canyon State, but now that GTAT plans to shut down operations, Apple says it’s still committed to helping the area.
Apple could open a sapphire glass manufacturing facility in Arizona as early as February, according to recently published correspondence between the company and state regulators.
Analyst Matt Margolis unearthed documents that mention the Mesa plant — described as “Project Cascade” — and note that it would be used to manufacturer “a critical new sub-component” for a future Apple product.
Apple’s new glass plant in Arizona has finally received the official seal of approval from the local government and some newly released documents reveal that in order to lure the tech behemoth to the Valley of the Sun, the Arizona Commerce Authority sweetened the pot by offering Apple a $10 million grant, plus some tax incentives.
The Gilbert Public School Board was the last of eight entities to approve the tax breaks for Apple, who plans to build a high-tech glass manufacturing plant in Mesa that will bring over 700 jobs to the area plus an additional 1,300 construction jobs while the plant is being built. According to one third-party economic study, Apple’s investment is estimated to generate more than $102 million in tax revenue over five years.
Bill Karas (pictured above) has switched his business from making hot rod parts to iPhone cases, and it’s paying off
Bill Karas isn’t your typical biker. Yes, he’s got the type of facial hair that would make ZZ Top proud. He’s even got his own custom shop where he can build you anything your bike or hot rod needs.
But behind all the facial hair, metal music, and hot rod loving exterior, Bill Karas and his crew at Karas Kustoms have found something far more exciting and lucrative than building hotrods: making iPhone cases.
How does a group of bikers go from building custom steering columns to iPhone cases? It was pretty much a compete accident, but it starts with a pen and Kickstarter.
Ever fantasized about owning your own Apple Store so you could do whatever the hell you want inside? Maybe you’d throw a cool party, dress up as Steve Jobs and chill with Vanilla Ice and Johnny Ive while crashing through the iPod tables playing a drunken game of Red Rover. I don’t know what you’d wanna do inside, this is your fantasy.
If you’re in the market to buy a pristine, almost-genuine Apple Store, my local third-party Apple retailer, The iStore, has sadly closed its doors after 17 years of business and is liquidating all their furniture. You can buy all the signage, fixtures, displays, and Genius Bar for only $38,500. Think about that for a second – for less than $40k you can have your own Genius Bar. Admit it, you want one.
Here’s some pictures of the Apple Store goodies your $38.5k will get you: