In the latest interview with ABC News, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the existence of a sapphire glass manufacturing facility in the state of Arizona.
New documents now reveal that the company is speeding up the opening of the sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona, with operations beginning by February.
Correspondence between Apple and the U.S. Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) discovered by 9to5Mac and analyst Matt Margolis shows that Cupertino wants to start the production of a “critical new sub-component” at the plant.
According to the docs, James J. Patton, Apple’s Deputy Director of Global Trade Compliance, formally requests the Foreign-Trade Zone Board to approve the two requests from Cupertino for the implementation of an “aggressive go-live timeline” of the plant for February 2014.
Since this factory is known to be specialized in sapphire, it is speculate that the material will be used for the top layer of the screen of the next iPhone.