Apple to open $1bn Austin campus despite ‘peak iPhone’ concerns

Apple to open $1bn Austin campus despite ‘peak iPhone’ concerns

Apple will open a new $1bn (£790m) campus in the Texan city of Austin, despite concerns that the company has reached “peak iPhone”.

The US technology giant, which already has a base of operations in the city, believes the campus will make it the largest private employer in Austin.

Currently Apple employs more than 6,000 workers in the city, but the new campus will house another 5,000 new employees. The 133-acre (0.54 sq km) workspace will eventually accommodate 15,000 staff, the company claims.

Employees at the new campus will work in fields including engineering, research, operations, finance, sales and customer support, Apple said.

The new Austin campus is a turnabout from chief executive Tim Cook's earlier comments that Texas would be an unlikely choice for a new campus.

"Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin," Cook said.

The state-capital, which has just under one million people, already has many technology companies based there, including Amazon, Facebook and Google.

The campus is part of Apple’s plans, first announced in January, to invest $350bn (£277bn) is the US over the next three years.

The iPhone-maker is promising it will generate 20,000 new positions within the company’s US operations by 2023. New sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver are also planned to be built before that date.

This comes as the Silicon Valley giant has faced concerns from investors about its growth in both Western and emerging markets, with some dubbing the stagnation in sales “peak iPhone”.

After years of brisk growth, Apple’s core western markets are saturated as consumers balk at the high prices. Increasingly, they are opting to hang on to their devices for longer, less impressed by incremental annual upgrades than a few years ago.

Apple did not hold a bidding process to choose the site for the new campus unlike its technology rival , which last month ended a months-long search for its second headquarters, picking New York City and an area just outside Washington, D.C. for massive new offices.

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