Apple has announced plans to establish a new office in San Diego, part of a much larger expansion initiative announced on Thursday.
The Cupertino tech giant said that the move will add 1,000 jobs to the local economy over the next three years. In addition to San Diego, Apple is also expanding in Seattle and Culver City, California and building a new satellite campus in Austin.
Presumably, the new office in San Diego will be related to a recent hiring campaign that Apple has carried out in the Southern California city. Apple has listed numerous job positions for wireless, radio frequency and cellular technology engineers.
San Diego is currently a hotbed for cellular engineering and STEM talent. UC San Diego’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, for example, has the most students of any program of its kind in the U.S., the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Specifically for cellular technology, the large pool of local talent is at least partly attributable to the fact that chipmaking juggernaut Qualcomm is headquartered in Sorrento Valley.
Establishing a presence in San Diego will likely allow Apple to compete with Qualcomm for local wireless talent. That may be especially true because of the ongoing legal spat between the two firms — and rumors of Apple’s plans to develop a first-party modem for its iPhone.
Don Norman, director of UC San Diego’s Design Lab, told the U-T that the move could bolster the area’s economy.
“This will be a great boon for the San Diego region, adding to the luster of our already top design community,” Norman said. “This will add to growth, helping make us more than a tourist town.”
What’s the Issue with Apple in San Diego?
But not everyone is happy about the impending office opening.
“Can’t wait for my rent to go up,” said one commenter on NBC 7 San Diego’s Facebook page.
“Gentrification here we come,” said another.
Other local residents expressed similar concerns about increased housing, costs of living, and worsening traffic akin to the situation in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
San Diego is in the midst of its own housing crisis, driven by a lack of affordable housing on the market and a high cost-of-living. San Diego is frequently listed as one of the most unaffordable cities in the U.S.
This isn’t the first time that local residents worried about Silicon Valley moving into their backyards.
Last year, Chula Vista — a city in San Diego county — attempted to woo Amazon with an incentive package for its HQ2 location. Even then, residents worried about increased traffic and housing costs as potential effects.
It’s worth noting that, although Amazon’s HQ2 won’t be opening in San Diego, Amazon did establish a 107,000 square foot campus in the city last year. Google has also leased a satellite office in San Diego back in 2016.
While Apple did not announce a location for its San Diego office, local rumors suggest that it could be in the University City/Eastgate (UTC) area of the city. Apple does already own two companies, Shazam and Emotient, that have office locations in San Diego.