Late last year, Apple signed a five-year, $578 million deal for sapphire manufacturing with GT Advanced Technology. The plant is based in Mesa, Arizona. Construction is still underway, but Apple is already seeking to build an expansion, reports AppleInsider.
According to the report, “multiple companies are already posting bids to build out a proposed expansion.” This expansion is believed to take place behind the current plant, pictured below.
Though it isn’t clear whether this expansion would be used for increased production of sapphire glass, it looks likely. Sources say that bids are currently being fielded from existing construction companies and suppliers for the original plant. The plant is already up and generating product, and it is believed that construction will be fully completed by June.
Apple is thought to be working on sapphire production for use in touchscreen displays. Just yesterday a patent application was published that shows the company is trying to create a smudge-resistant coating for sapphire screens. An expansion of its production plant would be another pretty clear indication to get ready for sapphire in a future generation of touchscreen devices.