Apple snaps up another semiconductor plant in San Jose for $18.2 million

apple looking into original tv shows building
Apple has acquired a former chip fabrication plant in San Jose, California, for $18.2 million, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal. The plant, a 70,000 square-foot building, was previously owned by Maxim Integrated Products. It sits just outside Samsung’s semiconductor plant.

Apple now owns a lot of land in Silicon Valley, including its spaceship headquarters, a second facility in Sunnyvale, and two other facilities in San Jose — one 300,000 square-foot facility on lease, another 290,000 square-foot facility bought for $138 million.

The company already designs its own chip for mobile devices, but the iPhone maker uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung to manufacture them. Although there are many rumors that Apple will take matters into its own hands and start manufacturing its own processors, this particular 70,000 square-foot space is too small for actually making the chips.

That said, the company might use the facility as a test site for new mobile processors. The ability to heavily test the production line before manufacturing might give engineers ways to improve speed, consistency, and performance of the chipset before mass production. Of course, this is just speculation, and Apple has yet to announce any specific plans for the new San Jose plant.

Apple has surprised us before with its surge into the semiconductor market. The acquisition of P.A. Semi in 2008 for $278 million wasn’t seen as a move away from market leaders like Intel, Qualcomm, and Nvidia at the time, but it turned out to be the first in a series of acquisitions that allowed the iPhone maker to design its own chipsets. Manufacturing is a whole different beast, however, and it’s unclear if Apple will venture into actually manufacturing its own processors or not.

The bigger question is what does the company need all of this land in Silicon Valley for? The company has spent over $800 million in the past year acquiring facilities in San Jose, Cupertino, and Sunnyvale. Rumors of car testing, manufacturing, and other new hardware are all in the cards, but Apple hasn’t said a word about its plans for the new properties.


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Product Review

Apple brought ECG tracking to consumers. Withings is making it affordable

The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $400, and the highlight function is the electrocardiogram, which has the potential to save lives. Withings’ new Move ECG has the same capability but at a fraction of the cost.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.

Windows 10 Mobile support ending: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.