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Apple leasing spree targets Cupertino office space

post #1 of 16
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Apple has been quietly but consistently leasing tens of thousands of additional square footage in its hometown of Cupertino, beginning at the end of 2004 and continuing into this year, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

In the last ten months, the city of Cupertino has reportedly received seven applications from Apple for new business licenses at seven different Cupertino locations. The applications involve just more than 250,000 square-feet of presumed office and expansion space.

"In total, Apple has paid city business license fees or filed an application for a business license with the city of Cupertino on locations totaling more than 2 million square feet, city records show," said the Journal

"That total includes its six-building world headquarters campus at 1 Infinite Loop, which represents about 850,000 square feet of the total. The campus, built for Apple by Cupertino's own Sobrato Development Cos. in 1993, is a regional landmark viewed daily by thousands who drive past it on Interstate 280."

Apple also reportedly occupies locations on Cupertino's Mariani Avenue, North De Anza Boulevard, Lazaneo Drive, Stevens Creek Boulevard, Bubb Road and Bandley Drive.

The report goes on to speculate that Apple may be leasing more space than it immediately needs in order to lock in today's very cheap rent rates in expectation of future expansion.

"Apple is one of four large companies in the valley whose growth is helping the valley's economy to recover and along the way helping to reduce the region's substantial commercial real estate vacancy rates," said Jim Beeger, a senior vice president at a regional real estate brokerage.

The two-page article provides further details about Apple's corporate expansion and the secrecy in which the company shrouds itself in the process.
post #2 of 16
Like the article says.. companies grow. Like, wow.
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post #3 of 16
I hope this indicates that Apple knows something about its future plans and growth that we don't, and that would require this space, rather than just assumptions on their part that don't come true.

2 million feet is a lot of space for office expansion. Hopefully some of this is also for R&D labs.
post #4 of 16
I was thinking about this just the other day... My prediction is that Apple is secretly buying up office space for customer support call centers.

They have billions in the bank and everyone expects them to buy out smaller hardware/software companies (TiVo, for example) with that money. Instead, they could use it to hire & train hundreds of new employees before switching to Intel processors and licensing the OS to other vendors.

In the past, Apple's hardware sales slumped when they licensed Mac OS, but things are different now and I think they could succeed this time around (since their own hardware will be on par with the likes of HP, Sony, etc.). Apple could grab a huge chunk of marketshare right before Vista launches, which would bolster their position as a computer company and not just "the iPod company".
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post #5 of 16
Read. Article. (not just sound byte) 850,000 of that million feet was exisiting HQ space. (they just pay their taxes etc. for it)
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself
Read. Article. (not just sound byte) 850,000 of that million feet was exisiting HQ space. (they just pay their taxes etc. for it)

That's true. What I suppose I should have said was that 2 million feet was a lot of footage to expand into for office space. It's what I meant to say. Thank's for the correction.
post #7 of 16
If Apple licenses OS X my gut hunch is that troubles they appear to be having with QA/QC (e.g. the 10.4 bugfarm) will increase. Same might happen with support in general, with more novice users having both hardware and software issues. I think it's important to consider a "downward pull" side effect of growth that could occur after licensing OS X that isn't adequately compensated for.

Also, for many people there's still a personal and intimate feeling of participation in the relatively small Apple/Mac community and its spirit that would be sad and unfortunate to lose. What would happen if a forum of this size had a fairly rapid influx of users that doubled or tripled its traffic? Would the quality of discussions be diluted with lower signal-to-noise ratios?

I won't get into a more positive flip side of that since it's already off-topic. All I'm suggesting is we be mindful of what we ask for from Apple (e.g. licensing OS X) because it may have some undesirable consequences that we later regret.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by sjk
If Apple licenses OS X my gut hunch is that troubles they appear to be having with QA/QC (e.g. the 10.4 bugfarm) will increase. Same might happen with support in general, with more novice users having both hardware and software issues.

That always been my feeling about the licensing issue as well, but the more I think about it the more I see it happening. Once they have an official x86 build of OS X, the next logical step is to license it out to the masses.

They already have existing partnerships with HP and Sony, so either of those companies could be the first to offer Mac-compatible boxes. Dell has expressed interest as well, although that's definitely a mixed bag since Apple could lose a lot of hardware sales to Dell's craptastic $299 machines.
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by sjk
If Apple licenses OS X my gut hunch is that troubles they appear to be having with QA/QC (e.g. the 10.4 bugfarm) will increase. Same might happen with support in general, with more novice users having both hardware and software issues. I think it's important to consider a "downward pull" side effect of growth that could occur after licensing OS X that isn't adequately compensated for.

Also, for many people there's still a personal and intimate feeling of participation in the relatively small Apple/Mac community and its spirit that would be sad and unfortunate to lose. What would happen if a forum of this size had a fairly rapid influx of users that doubled or tripled its traffic? Would the quality of discussions be diluted with lower signal-to-noise ratios?

I won't get into a more positive flip side of that since it's already off-topic. All I'm suggesting is we be mindful of what we ask for from Apple (e.g. licensing OS X) because it may have some undesirable consequences that we later regret.

There are downsides to this either way. Right now Apple is still losing developers. It is still finding banking and other sites that won't work with Macs and other problems related to small market share, such as a lack of video cards etc.

By licensing, rather than selling willy nilly into the PC market, Apple can require that machines sold with their OS meet certain standards that will minimize these problems you are talking about.

The advantages are the opposite of those disadvantages you mention. People who want to get OS X but won't buy Apple's hardware will now buy in. The marketshare of the OS will rise. Developers won't be so quick to leave, and others will move in. Hardware will become more common, and the "Mac Tax" will lessen or disappear if marketshare rises enough. Banks and other sites and services will extend to the Mac that don't do so now.

The first time Apple went to cloning they did it because of falling sales. They were hoping to expand their marketshare at a time when Apple was increasingly ignored.

Now Apple is expanding. They have several lines of popular hardware and software. People look positively to Apple as a leader. This could be much more successful than it was earlier.

But it will have to be done when Apple becomes less dependent on its own cpu hardware sales, so it may not be feasible until, and unless that happens.
post #10 of 16
The simple, obvious generalization is that licensing OS X would be a mixed blessing. Ideal for some people and little or not benefit for others. Attracting and keeping more developers is probably what I'd appreciate most (even without licensing OS X), at the risk of the software market becoming cluttered with more crapware. And that might also open the door for malware/spyware which until now hasn't been a problem. I'm sure topics like this will get much more attention after the first Intel Macs are available and there's no point to speculating too much about it now.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by sjk
The simple, obvious generalization is that licensing OS X would be a mixed blessing. Ideal for some people and little or not benefit for others. Attracting and keeping more developers is probably what I'd appreciate most (even without licensing OS X), at the risk of the software market becoming cluttered with more crapware. And that might also open the door for malware/spyware which until now hasn't been a problem. I'm sure topics like this will get much more attention after the first Intel Macs are available and there's no point to speculating too much about it now.

But without the speculating, this website would close down (even though I often say the same thing).
post #12 of 16
I bet they are buying the space to store all the iPod video marketing materials.
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post #13 of 16
Apple isn't losing developers and will not be licensing OSX for a very long time. Where do you get this rubbish?

The Intel switch allows for a much wider product range and I expect they are setting up seperate R&D and support operations for future product sectors. Apple likes to keep their skunkworks separated for security reasons.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Apple is still losing developers.

Please reference your source for this statement.
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post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by vinney57
Apple isn't losing developers and will not be licensing OSX for a very long time. Where do you get this rubbish?

The Intel switch allows for a much wider product range and I expect they are setting up seperate R&D and support operations for future product sectors. Apple likes to keep their skunkworks separated for security reasons.

You two guys are the only ones who don't know this. Ask a question, but please don't call it rubbish until you can say that for sure.

I'll give you a page from Maccentral. This has about a year of this. If you want to go to the site and go back in history, you will see for yourselves. There are other sources as well, but they have it in one place.

http://www.macintouch.com/marginal01.html

Notice at the top of the list it says - part 1
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
I hope this indicates that Apple knows something about its future plans and growth that we don't, and that would require this space, rather than just assumptions on their part that don't come true.

2 million feet is a lot of space for office expansion. Hopefully some of this is also for R&D labs.

Bingo. Add Server Farms and other needed space for training and support options other than generic support and you begin to see that Apple is just expanding again like it once was, but this time it actually expands with purpose and vision that makes actual products and not just dozens of secret ideas that never quite make it out the doors.
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