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.

Mobile

Why premium is the most overused, and least understood, word in tech

Everyone has heard the word premium, and many of us will have purchased a premium product, but what does premium actually mean, and why is it used so much in tech? Here's why it's so popular.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Home Theater

What year is this? Apple might drop a new iPod tomorrow

After two days of surprise hardware releases that have brought us new iPads and iMacs, rumor has it that we may see an update of Apple's iPod as soon as tomorrow, sparking a mixture of nostalgia and curiosity.
Mobile

Jury fines Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm patents

In a serious blow to Apple in its legal battle against Qualcomm, a San Diego jury fined Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm-owned patents. The decision marks the latest news in a string of court dates for the two companies.
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Computing

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.
Mobile

Apple patent suggests Apple Watch bands could have built-in fitness indicators

Apple may be exploring ways to make Apple Watch bands a little more useful. A new patent has been filed by Apple that suggests Apple Watch bands could eventually have indicators for things like fitness goals.
Mobile

Type away on the best iPad keyboard cases, from the Mini to the Pro

Whether you're looking to replace your laptop with a tablet or merely want to increase your typing speed, a physical iPad keyboard is the perfect companion to the iPad. Check out our top picks for every available iPad model.
Mobile

Apple patents hint at improved Apple Store and unboxing experiences

It looks like Apple is working on ways to improve the Apple Store and product unboxing experiences. The company has been awarded a few patents, largely for tech that can be used in product packaging to ensure products stay charged.
Wearables

Fossil made a smartwatch in 2004, and it’s part of a new brand retrospective

Fossil has been making watches for 35 years, and to celebrate the anniversary, it has a new retrospective exhibit complete with the first smartwatch it made — the Wrist Net watch from 2004.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Wearables

Fossil is working on a smartwatch with BMW, and it’s coming next year

Fossil, the watch company that makes smartwatches under its own name and partners with other major brands too, intends to launch a smartwatch with car manufacturer BMW in the future.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Mobile

Nokia phones are being investigated for allegedly sending data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.