Apple Plans 5,000 Jobs for New Austin Site as Part of Nationwide Expansion

Xconomy Texas — 

Austin — [Updated 3:10 p.m. See below.] Apple expects to make thousands of new hires around the country from Seattle to New York, the company announced Thursday, with its biggest growth planned for Austin, TX.

The computer and smartphone manufacturer plans to hire 5,000 new employees in Austin and to spend $1 billion building a new campus on the north end of Austin. It will be near Apple’s existing facilities where the company currently employs 6,200 workers, which is the second largest number of employees outside of the company’s Cupertino, CA, headquarters. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which now employs  90,000 nationwide, said it expects to hire in engineering, research and development, operations, finance, sales, and customer support.

Apple is making smaller moves in areas like Seattle and San Diego, where it plans to build new sites and boost the number of employees to more than 1,000. Apple plans to add a similar number of jobs in Culver City, CA, and said it would hire hundreds more in Boston, New York, Boulder, Pittsburgh, and Portland, OR. The company also plans to invest $10 billion in data centers over the next five years, both by expanding existing data centers in North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada, and building new ones, like its latest under construction in Iowa. [Updated with additional cities Apple plans to bring new jobs.]

The news comes even as the sale of smartphones declined in recent years, the first time the market saw a blip in growth. International Data Corporation (IDC) noted that 2017 was the first time that the global shipment of smartphones declined since they started being sold, which continued into 2018, according to New York Magazine. Framingham, MA-based IDC said in May that the global smartphone market should continue contracting in 2018, before growing again in 2019.

For Apple, net sales of its iPhone declined by 12 percent in 2016 to $136.7 billion. Net sales have since rebounded, however, growing to $141.3 billion and $166.7 billion in 2017 and 2018, according to regulatory filings. Sales of the iPhone are dramatically greater than any other apple product. Its Mac products had $25.5 billion in net sales in 2018. (The company’s fiscal year ends on Sept. 29.)

New functions, from virtual reality and AI software to 5G capabilities, and improvements in speed, power, battery life, and overall performance will keep the market growing through 2022, IDC said in March. Brighter displays, artificial intelligence, and improved imaging capabilities were expected to help Apple in 2018, according to IDC.

The news of Apple’s expansion follows Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) announcement that it will expand to two new locations, in New York City and outside of Washington DC, each of which is expected to add up to 25,000 employees. Amazon had selected 20 finalists (including Austin) during a year-long search for a second headquarters, before deciding to split that second location between the two cities.