Apple’s Fourth U.S. Campus: Handicapping Where It Will Go

By Mark GurmanMark Gurman and David IngoldDavid Ingold

It’s Apple’s turn to go shopping.

In January, Apple Inc. announced plans for a fourth U.S. campus—a down-payment of sorts on its commitment to hire thousands of Americans and redeploy billions of dollars stashed overseas and now being repatriated under the Trump administration’s new tax law. The company hasn’t said how many people will work at the new facility, but it’s probably fair to say it will at least be in the hundreds.

The iPhone maker has said the new facility won’t be in California or Texas and that initially it will house call-center staff. Apple has no plans to create an Amazon-style public bidding process, but cities from Sidney, Nebraska, to Orlando, Florida, have already expressed interest in hosting the facility.

In an effort to narrow down potential sites for the new campus, Bloomberg considered several criteria: regions where Apple already has a strong presence, proximity to suppliers, local business conditions and costs, concentration of educated talent and adjacency to transportation hubs.

In the midst of its planning, Apple recently named a new vice president of global real estate operations: Kristina Raspe, according to LinkedIn. She's likely to eventually succeed Dan Whisenhunt, another Apple vice president, who oversaw the development of the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino. Apple, which is expected to announce a decision later this year, declined to comment.

Where Is Apple Currently Located?

Apple uses its sprawling campuses in and around Cupertino, California, for its executives, marketing teams, App Store reviewers and the majority of its software and hardware engineers. It also has smaller product development offices around the country, as well as multiple product repair centers and a pair of support call centers.

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Apple has two major campuses in Cupertino: its original Infinite Loop campus and now the Apple Park, plus a major presence in Austin, Texas.

Call Centers

In Austin and Elk Grove, California, Apple houses call-center employees who assist customers with technical issues, as well as engineers working on operations and infrastructure. The fourth campus will also house a call center.

Data Centers

Apple has built multiple data centers, from Oregon to North Carolina, that house the servers storing iCloud information, send iMessages to iPhones and let customers stream music from the cloud. In Arizona, Apple has a command center that controls its data center operations.

AppleCare Repair Centers

Apple operates four repair centers, including one on the West Coast near Apple’s campus and another in Pennsylvania, which services the East Coast. The company covers the middle of the country with repair facilities in Texas and Tennessee.

Smaller Corporate Offices

Apple has smaller development offices scattered between Los Angeles to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Some, like the offices in Seattle and Denver, were located to poach talent from local companies working on technology that Apple prizes. Other offices, like those in New York and Washington, support Apple’s advertising and lobbying efforts. An office outside Miami handles the company’s Latin American operations.

Major Parts Suppliers

While the vast majority of Apple products are assembled in Asian factories, the company sources key components — including the glass for iPhones and the FaceID scanner—from suppliers in the U.S. Apple has almost 4,000 suppliers in California, where its two main campuses are located. Other states with hundreds of suppliers include New York (804), Texas (515), Illinois (493), Massachusetts (379), Pennsylvania (253) and Ohio (194). When considering where to put a new campus, Apple seems to take into account how many smaller suppliers are in the area.

What Is Apple Looking for in a City?

When Amazon started searching for its next campus, it issued a series of clear guidelines describing what it wanted from a city. Apple hasn’t, but it’s probably looking for many of the same things: an educated workforce, tax incentives and accessible transportation.

Tax Incentives and a Local Business Environment

Here are America’s top 15 cities ranked by tax incentives and local business environments, according to Moody’s Analytics. Like most companies, Apple will surely expect such incentives in exchange for its investment. A major company such as Apple could transform a city by jump-starting its economy of schools, retail stores, restaurants and the housing market.

Human Capital

Here are the top 15 cities ranked by workforce education and human capital, according to Moody’s Analytics. The cities were chosen because they emphasize bachelor’s degrees instead of advanced engineering degrees, which arguably fit better with Apple’s plans to recruit technical support people, rather than those working on products and operations. It’s not clear how much technical talent Apple will need, so the company may not put as much focus on human capital, said Moody’s Senior Economist Adam Ozimek.


Here are the top 15 cities based on public transit such as airports, subways and bus systems, according to Moody’s Analytics. Apple will be looking for an array of commuting options for employees. A nearby airport will also be crucial to serve Apple employees flying in from the company’s many U.S. offices.

City where Apple has a corporate presence
City ranked top-15 in an Apple-friendly category
Regions withboth features

When you consider all these factors, Apple seems likely to choose among northeastern states such as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and upstate New York; North Carolina and Florida in the southeast; and Midwestern states like Illinois and Wisconsin. The East Coast has one obvious advantage: the ability to provide customer support before existing call centers in Texas and California open for the day, as well as its proximity to hundreds of suppliers. The company could also consider the northwest, where it has a couple of offices, including an R&D center for cloud services in Seattle, and several suppliers.