Apple has long had plans to build a new property of about one million square feet in Austin, Texas, and according to reports the initial stages of building are now underway. Phase one of the construction will see 200,000 square feet in two new buildings, at a cost somewhere around $56 million, and it'll be done by 2015. Phase two will take until 2021 and involve 800,000 square feet of construction in several buildings. When it's done it'll be home to more than double the 3,500 staff Apple already employs in Texas.
We can be sure that like the glamorous Cupertino "spaceship" building, this plan has nothing to do with recent moves by Apple to bring some manufacturing of its products back to the U.S.A. These sites are all about staff, not industrial production--which is very likely to be undertaken in a U.S. factory by Foxconn instead.
Meanwhile, a different rumor in the New York area may be cause for more excitement. According to the Oregonian there's a lot of fuss about a potential 3.5 million square foot semiconductor fabrication plant owned by a company using the codename "Azalea." Oregon officials are trying to attract the company to their region, but Azalea is also being courted by officials from New York. Though details are scarce, the theory is that Azalea is actually big-name chip maker TSMC and the new factory would be a way for Apple to secure supply of its own design Ax-class chips to power future products, independent of other industry figures like Samsung.
Do you think Apple bringing more production facilities to the U.S. will help the manufacturing industry and, thus, the unemployment situation? Or will it only be staffed by robots, anyway?
[Image: Flickr user gideon]