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Apple says it will invest $2 billion to convert a factory formerly operated by one of its iPhone screen suppliers into a large data center.

Many expected the iPhone 6 to ship with the hard sapphire glass on the screens, but durability problems with the glass manufactured at the facility prohibited it.

Apple had financed the lease of the large Arizona facility to provide a place in which Mesa, Arizona-based GT Advanced could manufacture the screens.

After the problems with the durability of its screens, GT Advanced said it was unable to fulfill Apple’s orders, and filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2014.

The 1.3 million-square-foot building, which was once a solar panel factory, will now be used as a data center and will employ 150 people. The factory will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, including that generated from a new local solar farm, Apple said.

The conversion to a data center won’t happen right away. In an agreement signed in December, Apple said GT Advanced could continue using the large facility through December 2015.

Apple also said it will build and finance additional solar projects in Arizona, which could create enough energy to power more than 14,500 homes.


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