Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Apple’s Getting Bigger in Texas

It’s not as though we needed another indicator of how far the tech world has shifted in the last decade, but, well, here’s another indicator.

Apple appears to be on its way to becoming the biggest employer in the Austin, Texas, area and may soon eclipse Dell. Having gotten under way in May with the construction on a new $16.5 million, 200,000-square foot building in North Austin to open by 2015, plus a second, $226 million, 800,000-square-foot office building due no later than 2025, Apple is required under a deal it reached with commissioners in Texas’ Travis County to hire no fewer than 3,655 workers on top of the 4,000 it employs in Austin now.

If current trends continue and Apple keeps adding people — and Dell keeps cutting, as it has been over the last few years — Apple will become the biggest job creator in Central Texas. The prediction comes from local economist Angelos Angelou.

The expected increase in Austin may or may not have something to do with Apple’s plans to shift some of its Mac manufacturing footprint to the U.S. and away from China next year. CEO Tim Cook disclosed the plan in interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek and NBC last week, but first hinted about it in his appearance at D: All Things Digital in May.

And Apple is also responsible for indirectly creating a lot of jobs. Example: South Korean chip giant Samsung manufactures Apple’s A5x and A6 chips used in the iPad and iPhone at a factory outside Austin.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald