Apple today announced that it’s upping its commitment to investing in the U.S. from $350 billion, the figure it set in 2018, to $430 billion over the next five years. The company said those investments are expected to create 20,000 new jobs as a way of “supporting American innovation and driving economic benefits in every state.”
A few states, in particular, will benefit from Apple’s increased spending. The company said that it plans to spend $1 billion on a new campus in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. For example, it has already started work on another $1 billion campus in Texas. It’s also started the design process for a new data center in Iowa.
But the company doesn’t just plan to build new campuses and data centers. Apple said that it plans to expand its teams in California, Colorado, and Massachusetts in the next five years. A new office space in Washington also opened up to 1,000 of the company’s Seattle employees; that workforce is expected to at least double.
The goal for each investment varies by state. Apple’s hoping the campus in the Research Triangle will “create at least 3,000 new jobs in machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and other cutting-edge fields” as well as “generate over $1.5 billion in economic benefits annually for North Carolina.”
Other investments are expected to go to “more than 9,000 suppliers and companies large and small in all 50 states,” Apple said, “supporting American job creation across dozens of sectors, including silicon engineering, 5G, and manufacturing.” It’s also devoting more attention—and money—to developing new clean energy technology.
Let’s be clear: Apple doesn’t just plan to write $430 billion worth of cheques over the next five years. Its figures include its own hiring efforts, economic impact estimates that could prove inaccurate, and “developer jobs in the thriving iOS app economy” enabled by its platform but not directly supported by the company itself.
Apple’s bragging about being “the largest taxpayer in the US” and paying “almost $45 billion in domestic corporate income taxes over the past five years alone” is often seen as a way of deflecting criticism related to its accounting practices too. However, that criticism can be levied against many other companies as well.
Apple also announced the increased commitment as it faces complaints regarding the App Store, policies accusing it of favoring the company’s own AirTag device tracker over similar products, and other issues. The higher investment might not be at all related, but it could definitely help distract from those complaints.
Does that mean a $430 billion investment over five years should be overlooked? No. That’s a lot of money, and even if it doesn’t actually create 20,000 jobs, it will still lead to a lot more gainfully employed people. But it’s worth remembering Apple isn’t doing this because of corporate altruism; it’s doing it because it’s good business.