Wild Speculation: Why a $2B AMD purchase would be a puzzle piece fit for Apple

Things aren’t looking good for chipmaker AMD…Following another round of layoffs totaling about 15 percent of its employees last month, Reuters reported today that AMD is looking for an investor to sell its Texas campus in order to raise up to $200 million in cash in a multi-year lease back deal. AMD’s cash dropped from $279 million to $1.48 billion in the third quarter, and today the company sits at a market cap of $1.40 billion.

Despite not being the “main option,” with the restructuring and the company’s financial issues, Reuters’ sources claimed an outright sale of the company isn’t out of the question. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard chatter of an AMD takeover. However, with the company sitting at a market cap of $1.40 billion and rumors of Bob Mansfield’s new Technologies group possibly transitioning away from Intel processors, we can’t help but imagine a few things Apple would stand to gain from the purchase…

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Apple loses $368.2M lawsuit to patent holding company VirnetX in E. Texas court ruling

According to Bloomberg, Apple lost a lawsuit against VirnetX in a Texas courtroom late this evening and ordered to pay $368.2 million in damages. VirnetX sued Apple for infringing on its collection of network patents that Apple has been accused of incorporating into products like FaceTime. VirnetX was originally asking for upward of $900 million, but the jury decided on lesser damages this evening. Additionally, the patent holding company has similar cases pending against Cisco and Avaya. VirnetX successfully won $105.75 million from Microsoft in 2010.

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Dallas newspaper identifies ‘Evil Genius’ Apple Store, corroborates Gizmodo story

Yesterday, Gizmodo posted a harrowing piece about one of the most corrupt Apple Stores in the United States. The story profiled many unethical tactics done by the store managers and employees. In one instance, a regional manager actually gave away a free Apple product in exchange for a weight loss surgery, and also leant Apple products out for months at a time. In another case, Apple Store Geniuses would actually take iPhones at their leisure, often breaking them and replacing them. But perhaps the most disconcerting bit from the Gizmodo piece is what Geniuses did to customer’s products. In one instance, a Genius actually  “just erased people’s hard drives that are —holes.” Certainly shocking out of the company that’s already had 300 million visitors in its stores this year.

We weren’t sure how accurate the story was or if the sources had perhaps been embellishing at best and fabricating at worst.  However a separate second source has come forward with a separate but similar story and has named the store in question. Read more

Apple continues $304M Austin, Texas campus expansion with land purchase

Last time we checked Apple’s plans to bring 3,600 jobs to Austin, Texas with a $304 million investment and the construction of a new campus, the company received approval on the last of several major incentives from city officials. The approval officially initiated an Economic Development Agreement between Apple and the city, but the project was still not 100 percent confirmed.

Reports originally said Apple would build the new campus on 38 acres at West Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive, and today’s report from AustinBusinessJournal confirmed Apple recently purchased land near the address:

Records at the Travis County Clerk’s Office show that McShane Development Co. LLC, through its Riata Vista LP entity, sold three tracts of land to Apple on June 20. The exhibits indicate that the land is in the Milwood Section 20 subdivision near Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive.

The report did not offer any information about how much Apple paid for the land, but the purchase is a good indication Apple is going ahead with its new Austin campus. According to AustinBusinessJournal, McShane CEO James McShane released a press release yesterday on its new vice president who helped make the deal with Apple:

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Apple frustrated with Austin incentive delays, new campus plans remain ‘in peril’

The last we heard, Apple’s plan to build a new $304 million campus and add up to 3,600 new jobs in Austin, Texas was all but a done deal with city officials last month after they approved an $8.6 million incentive to be handed out over 10 years. At the time, Apple was still waiting on additional incentives from Travis County officials, but today local reports from Statesman claimed Apple is growing frustrated with delays. Senior Vice President for Economic Development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Dave Porter said Apple’s deal to move into Austin is “in peril”:

“This deal is not done. It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated… We were disappointed (the deal) wasn’t finalized this past Tuesday, but we were hopeful this next Tuesday that Apple and the county can complete the negotiation process and have that behind us… We remain hopeful that will take place and there will be a positive vote on Tuesday.”

In total, Apple would receive roughly $36 million over 10 to 15 years as part of the deal. Approximately $6.4 million is supposed to come from Travis County. The report explained the reasons behind the County delaying approval of the incentive:
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Austin cements itself as Apple’s ‘second city’ with approval of $8.6M incentive

We reported earlier this month that Apple was waiting on city officials from Austin, Texas to decide whether to offer the company an $8.6 million incentive over 10 years as part of Apple’s proposal to invest $304 million in a new campus. The Texas Enterprise Fund is already kicking in $21 million over 10 years as part of the deal, and last night the City Council unanimously approved the $8.6 million in incentives. According to a report from KXAN, this will initiate “the negotiation and execution of an Economic Development Agreement with APPLE INC,” but Travis County officials are still weighing the decision to offer Apple an additional $6 million in real estate related incentives…
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