Apple buys 67-acre San Diego campus as it works on custom modem

It’s been several years since Apple announced its intentions to move beyond its retail presence in San Diego and build a hub of hardware and software engineering. Now in what looks like the company’s first commercial purchase in the area, Apple has bought HP’s old 67-acre campus as it ramps up work on making an in-house modem and more.

About 20 miles from many of Qualcomm’s offices, Apple has purchased HP’s old inkjet research lab campus in Rancho Bernardo. As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Apple paid $445 million for the 67.6-acre campus known as the Rancho Vista Corporate Center.

Apple has leased many different properties across San Diego county, but this appears to be the company’s first purchase as it gets more serious about engineering efforts in Southern California.

At first, Apple planned to add 1,200 new jobs in San Diego for hardware and software engineering, but now that expectation is up to 5,000 by 2026.

“We’ve been part of the community in San Diego for more than two decades and are thrilled to continue investing here as we expand our world-class teams,” said Apple in a statement. A spokesperson declined further comment.

9to5Mac’s Take

This purchase looks like a strong commitment to Apple’s modem and other wireless engineering work.

Shortly after Apple announced its intentions to grow its engineering in San Diego, the company announced it made a $1 billion deal with Intel for its smartphone modem business – as it began work on an in-house modem.

While earlier reports suggested Apple wanted to use its own modems in products like iPhone as soon as 2023, the move to settle an intense lawsuit with Qualcomm and sign a six-year deal that runs into 2025 means those plans could have been delayed or at least changed to some degree. We’ll have to wait and see.

But of course, Apple’s work to produce its own modems continues, which you could say will be a new expansion of Apple Silicon, bringing more hardware components in-house.

If the images that show up for the newly purchased campus on Google Maps are accurate, Apple may have a good amount of renovating to do…

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Naveen Kumar

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