A large factory in the Phoenix metro area is reportedly close to starting production of scratch-resistant sapphire glass for Apple cameras and other devices.
The Arizona Republic reports that GT Advanced Technologies CEO Tom Gutierrez told investment analysts last week that the plant in Mesa is nearly finished.
Gutierrez said there have been startup challenges but that the company expects to reach full operational status in early 2015.
The company has hired hundreds of workers to get the 1.3-million-square-foot factory running, and Apple said in November the plant will employee 700 workers for the manufacturing operation.
The glass is used to cover lenses on its iPhone 5 cameras and fingerprint reading devices.