Business Insider also reports that Apple could be aiming to utilize its Mesa center to develop other servers which would be incorporated in the company's other data centers located across the country, including every facility located in North Carolina and Oregon. A person with knowledge of Apple's data centers spoke to Business Insider and said Apple's data center server production will be consolidated in Mesa, Arizona. Apple's effort appears limited to equipment for its internal operations, however, rather than for a mass-market consumer product.
Previously, the vast 1.2-million-square-foot facility in Mesa was leased to GT Advanced Technologies. The application to the federal Foreign-trade Zones Board seeks permission to produce "finished products" at the site and to ship materials and components from overseas without paying customs duty. However, this will represent as only a consolidation process, as sources close to Apple have strongly hinted that Apple's other United States centers are now producing servers on their own.
The company is looking to repurpose the site to build data server cabinets for use in enterprise data centers, according to the Mesa city government.
Electric motors, printed circuit board assemblies, magnets, lithium batteries, routers and network switches, microphones, CDs, software, solid state drives, semiconductor media, monitors, electronic circuits, server rack rails - along with tape and plastic bags - are among the dozens of items that could qualify for duty-free or low duty fees, according to the new filing.
The facility was originally going to be used to manufacture sapphire coverings for iPhones.MesaApple's Mesa facility has been called a "global command center" for Apple's cloud operations.
Apple, like the three companies mentioned above, is a member of the Open Compute Project, the open source data center hardware design community founded by Facebook.