Arizona Suddenly a Hot Spot for Tech-Factory Rumors After Apple Announcement

Technology!
Technology!
crabchick via Flickr

After Apple announced last week that it's going to have some of its components made in Mesa, it's like Arizona gets to play Silicon Valley for a bit.

Governor Jan Brewer is in Taiwan of all places, while there are several rumors that other large companies are interested in manufacturing their products here in the desert.

According to Reuters, Brewer met with the CEO of Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn (the company that's kind enough to put up suicide nets for its workers in China).

Governor Jan Brewer (center) in Taipei, Taiwan.
Governor Jan Brewer (center) in Taipei, Taiwan.
Governor Jan Brewer's Office

Although Foxconn assembles products for Apple, the company's reportedly interested in making TVs in Arizona.

Also, the Phoenix Business Journal reported that Tesla Motors is looking for somewhere in North America to make battery cells.

 
The paper reports that Arizona "could be in the running" for that one.

To its credit, the Phoenix Business Journal called the Apple move to Mesa well before the official announcement.

It all seems like interesting timing, given the announcement from Apple, which seemed to come out of nowhere, and has led this flurry of sudden tech-related announcements for the state.

It's not all golden, though.

The Tesla thing's far from official, and Foxconn's record speaks for itself.

Additionally, someone stressed to us that Apple is only paying a company to manufacture things here. You're not going to find the Apple logo plastered on everything.

That company, GT Advanced Technologies, plans to hire 700 people at the Mesa facility to make "sapphire material" for Apple products.

 
Additionally, GT Advanced Technologies even said in its announcement that, "Gross margins from this new materials business are expected to be substantially lower than GT's historical equipment margins.

"However, the announcement continued, the company believes the strategic nature of this agreement and the benefits associated with building a recurring revenue stream are important to its continued diversification."

And it's Apple that's getting the "incentive package" from the state, or so we're told (details have not been released).

Therefore, it's not going to be Apple writing the checks to the employees. It was suggested to us that the employee benefits would probably be different if Apple were running the show.

Still, it looks like Forbes may not have been joking when it said Arizona would have the fastest job growth in the nation over the next five years.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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