Peter Kafka

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Apple Is Going to Spend a Lot of Money on … Something

Apple is going to plow $8 billion into capital expenditures in the next 12 months — 73 percent more than it spent last year. Where’s that money going to go?

GigaOm, referencing a UBS research note, points out that $900 million will go into Apple’s retail outlets. The company says it will open another 40 stores in the next year.

Apple is vague, of course, about where the rest of the $7.1 billion will go, but references “product tooling and manufacturing process equipment, and corporate facilities and infrastructure, including information systems hardware, software and enhancements.”

So: Lots of places.

It’s tempting to assume that the bulk of the money goes into more iCloud projects, like its North Carolina data center. And we do know, for instance, that Apple is now building a giant solar farm to help power that data center.

But Apple really isn’t in the habit of hand-tipping, and all we really know is that $7.1 billion is a lot more than $4 billion, which is what Apple spent on non-retail capex last year.

Alternate reading: Aysmco’s Horace Dediu.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work