San Jose Stories December 14, 2015

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According to a report from Silicon Valley Business Journal, Apple has recently purchased a former chip fab in North San Jose. The deal reportedly went through last week and saw Apple pay $18.2 million for the 70,000 square foot building.

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San Jose Stories November 4, 2015

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As construction continues on Apple’s new Campus, the company is considering expanding its operation to a new, even larger 4.15 million square foot facility in San Jose, according to a new report.

The tech company is currently seeking an agreement with the city that would allow it to develop the massive lot for a new campus, though actually getting such an agreement would not necessarily guarantee that Apple would begin construction.

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San Jose Stories October 26, 2015

Home tracking firm Zillow demonstrates the Apple effect on housing prices in San Francisco & San Jose

It’s long been taken as read that high tech company salaries push up housing costs in the surrounding areas, but the WSJ commissioned home tracking company Zillow to provide some hard data. By tracking the increase in values of homes owned by Apple employees, it was able to prove that home values in those areas rose further and faster than in surrounding areas with similar demographics.

The piece notes that zoning laws and regulatory red tape also have a significant effect, by limiting the supply of housing at a time when demand is increasing, but the comparison does suggest that there is a direct link to tech companies like Apple.

Homes occupied by Apple workers are appreciating at 18% a year, compared with 11% for San Francisco as a whole and 12% for San Jose. Since iPhone sales launched in June 2007 [and stock values rose], the Zillow analysis found, the average difference between the median home value of Apple workers and San Jose workers has swelled to 20% from 13%.

The problem of lower-paid workers finding it hard to find housing within reasonable commuting distance of tech companies like Apple has been highlighted in the past. Apple took the decision back in March to hire the majority of its previously contracted security guards as staff, providing them with health insurance and retirement benefits. The company also arranged for its contracted shuttle bus workers to get an improved deal.

San Jose Stories August 3, 2015

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Map showing Apple’s San Jose property, via Silicon Valley Business Journal

According to a new report from Silicon Valley Business Journal, Apple has purchased a 43-acre development plot in North San Jose. The report claims that Apple paid slightly more than $138 million for the property, which is located on North First Street in San Jose.

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San Jose Stories June 1, 2015

Widow recycles Apple I computer, not realizing it was worth $200k

With only around 200 Apple I computers ever made, they fetch six-figure sums these days – but it seems not everyone knows their value. The San Jose Mercury News reports that a woman dropped off several boxes of electronics at a South Bay recycling company, saying she just wanted to “get rid of this stuff” to clear out her garage after her husband died.

The woman didn’t leave her details, and the company didn’t go through the boxes until some weeks later, when they discovered the vintage computer. They have now sold it to a private collector for $200,000.

It’s not all bad news for the mystery woman, though: recycling company Clean Bay Area says its policy is to give half the proceeds of sales to the original owner, so if she comes forward she’ll receive a check for $100k. Chancers will be out of luck – Vice President Victor Gichun, who took in the boxes from her, says he remembers both the woman’s face and her SUV. All she has to do to collect is show up.

Photo: TNW

San Jose Stories December 7, 2014

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A former Apple Global Supply Manager was sentenced in a San Jose federal court earlier this week nearly 3 years after being convicted of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in relation to selling Apple iPhone and component secrets to Apple’s suppliers. AP notes that Paul Shin Devine was up to no good:

“The scheme funneled millions in kickbacks to Devine for passing along confidential information to Apple Inc. suppliers and manufacturers who used the secrets to negotiate more favorable deals.”

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San Jose Stories August 20, 2014

Cupertino wins race to be first west coast location to get AT&T’s gigabit-speed fiber

AT&T has announced that Apple’s home city of Cupertino will be the first west coast location to get its gigabit fiber Internet service, GigaPower, reports Re/code.

Cupertino is among several Bay Area cities that AT&T had previously said it was considering — a list that included San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Campbell and Mountain View. Specific timing, availability and pricing for the Cupertino service will be announced later, AT&T said.

GigaPower is a 100 percent fiber optic network offering speeds of up to one gigabit. To put that speed into perspective, you could download an HD TV show in three seconds and download 25 music tracks in one second.

AT&T’s rivals in the gigabit Internet race include Google Fiber, based in nearby Mountain View. You can check availability of GigaPower on AT&T’s site.

Photo credit: siliconvalleyandbeyond.com

San Jose Stories July 31, 2012

Apple and Samsung appeared in a San Jose federal court today, where U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh presides, to give opening statements starting at 9 a.m. PST.

Apple filed the first suit in this monumental case in April 2011. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company claimed Samsung infringed its patents by “slavishly copying” its iPhone. Samsung, a South Korea-based Company, promptly countersued.

This is one of the important cases to go to trial among a slew of other litigations on smartphone patents. If Apple wins, Samsung could suffer a financial blow and the ability to sell its infringing products in a large market. If Apple loses, its “thermonuclear war” against Android smartphone manufacturers could essentially wither away as Samsung collects royalty fees.

This morning’s most notable highlights are below (continually updated).

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San Jose Stories July 26, 2012

Samsung says Apple stole iPhone design from Sony

With Apple and Samsung’s jury trial slated to kick off in a federal district court in San Jose, Calif., this Monday, AllThingsD points us to trial briefs where Samsung’s lawyers argued Apple’s inspiration for the original iPhone CAD drawings and designs were inspired by a Sony product:

Right after this article was circulated internally, Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to prepare a “Sony-like” design for an Apple phone and then had CAD drawings and a three-dimensional model prepared. Confirming the origin of the design, these internal Apple CAD drawings prepared at Mr. Nishibori‘s direction even had the “Sony” name prominently emblazoned on the phone design, as the below images from Apple‘s internal documents show..

Soon afterward, on March 8, 2006, Apple designer Richard Howarth reported that, in contrast to another internal design that was then under consideration, Mr. Nishibori‘s “Sony-style” design enabled “a much smaller-looking product with a much nicer shape to have next to your ear and in your pocket” and had greater “size and shape/comfort benefits.” As Mr. Nishibori has confirmed in deposition testimony, this “Sony-style” design he prepared changed the course of the project that yielded the final iPhone design.

The article referenced above is from a 2006 interview with Sony designers that appeared in Businessweek.

San Jose Stories January 27, 2012

Late last week we told you that the U.S. Justice Department apparently had evidence that Apple, along along with Google, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, Intel, and Lucasfilms, entered “no-poach” agreements as part of an antitrust investigation from 2010. U.S. District Judge Lucy H Koh made a statement yesterday at the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., confirming the companies must face a lawsuit. According to the report from Bloomberg, Koh said she would allow plaintiffs to re-file their complaint even if an initial request by the defendants to dismiss the claims is granted.  

Judge Koh’s decision yesterday will result in Google and the other companies having to provide a detailed account of the agreements made with other companies. They must also allow lawyers to take depositions. One lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Joseph Saveri, said, “We get to see what really happened,” claiming the case could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Google provided statements to Bloomberg claiming they have “always actively and aggressively recruited top talent,” while the others have declined to comment. expand full story

San Jose Stories October 27, 2011

Watch out! Using Siri while driving is still illegal in California

MercuryNews was told by the San Jose Police that using Siri while driving is illegal. The San Jose Police Luitenant said that the actual act of talking to Siri isn’t illegal, but it’s the part when you use you’re hands to navigate through its functionality when things start getting setup for a nice ticket. “It’s […]

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