Apple scooped up a former chip manufacturing facility in North San Jose, California. BizJournals discovered this news by checking the public records, which reveal Apple paid $18.2 million for the 70,000 square foot former manufacturing plant from a company called Maxim Integrated Products.
Apple's plans for the facility are unknown, but the paper suggests it may be used by Apple to expand its product development, pre-manufacturing and prototyping capabilities:
"It's pretty small for a fab," said Dean Freeman, research VP at Gartner, where he leads the Internet of Things Center of Excellence. "The only thing I can think that they would be doing is potentially be saying, 'OK, we need to do some prototyping in some way or form.' Or they want a clean-room space to do some tweaky development. This isn’t big enough to do anything (production-wise)."
Brian Blau, who covers Apple for Gartner, said Apple may be looking to expand its product-development, pre-manufacturing and prototyping capabilities. But he said it's difficult to tie an expansion play like this to a specific product focus.