updated 08:10 am EST, Thu November 25, 2010
Apple makes symbolic acquisition of old HP HQ
Apple in a milestone is moving into HP's old headquarters, the company confirmed late Wednesday. HP has signaled that it has sold its decades-old campus at 19091 Pruneridge Avenue in Cupertino, just five minutes' drive from Apple's 1 Infinite Loop, in favor of consolidating around Palo Alto. While it declined to name the buyer, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed that his company had bought the soon to be vacated space.
"We now occupy 57 buildings in Cupertino and our campus is bursting at the seams," Dowling said to the Mercury News. "These offices will give us more space for our employees as we continue to grow."
The acquisition follows more than four years after Apple bought the HP space just opposite, south of Pruneridge Avenue. Apple's main headquarters occupies just 35 acres, and while it hasn't fully used the 2006 acquisition, the 50 acres themselves aren't necessarily enough to maintain major expansion. Apple already has offices elsewhere in the Santa Clara Valley area but may be eager to consolidate more of its workers around its main offices.
CEO Steve Jobs is known to have a personal attachment to the area, having grown up in Cupertino and made the 2006 acquisition even though the land was relatively expensive.
The reasons behind the real estate grab weren't determined, but the company's branching out beyond traditional computers has required that it add facilities it wouldn't have otherwise needed, including its wireless testing labs for iPads, iPhones and iPods. An expected move into the cloud has also led Apple to acquire a North Carolina data center, but how much of this would need facilities back in California isn't known.
Regardless of plans, the move represents a symbolic change for the San Francisco Bay Area technology industry. HP continues to lead the world in computer sales where Apple is just a fraction of the size, but its shipments grew just two percent where Apple grew 28.5 percent, or three times the industry average. HP's mobile plans were renewed this year with the acquisition of Palm but are still eclipsed by the much larger iPhone business, and its Windows tablet PC business was overtaken within weeks of the iPad going on sale.