Computer maker Apple has purchased a large tract of land on the site of technology rival Hewlett-Packard's former headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., according to the San Jose Mercury News. The purchase of the 98-acre piece of property will make Apple the largest landowner in the city, the paper reported. Real estate estimates put the purchase price in the neighborhood of $300 million.
"We now occupy 57 buildings in Cupertino, and our campus is bursting at the seams," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in an interview with the paper. "These offices will give us more space for our employees as we continue to grow."
Tim Bajarin, president of consulting firm Creative Strategies, told the paper-which reported that Apple has added 12,300 employees in the past year, raising the company's total global workforce to 46,600-that the company's growth has been "spectacular," though exactly what Apple plans to do with the site remains, for now, under wraps. "They are one of the companies in the valley that are hiring, and the bottom line is they need the space," he said.
While the company is busy expanding its real estate, Apple is also expanding discounts for consumers this weekend: As part of the Black Friday sales madness, Apple is offering its usual yearly post-Thanksgiving discounts on a variety of Apple products, including $101 off MacBook Pro and Air notebooks, as well as $101 off the iMac, and $41 off the iPad and up to $41 off the iPod Touch. In addition, Apple is also offering minor discounts on accessories like iPad cases and docks, headphones, Time Capsule and its Magic Mouse.
For those in the mood for bargain hunting, Apple isn't alone in offering tempting deals. Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart and a host of other retailers-online and in brick-and-mortar stores-are rolling out a slew of bargains. In addition, Apple's App Store is crowded with applications designed to help consumers make the most of these deals.
However tempting deals from Apple or other electronics retailers may seem, consumers have cause to shop cautiously. Attackers have set their sights on holiday shoppers searching for leaked Black Friday ads, creating malicious sites that appear on search engine result pages, according to a Nov. 18 alert by IT security firm SonicWall. Called SEO poisoning, hackers create these pages that Google and other search engines pick up thinking they are legitimate, and return them when users type in the search terms.
In addition, PandaLabs, Panda Security's anti-malware laboratory, is advising holiday shoppers to be extra wary when shopping online this holiday season. The company noted most of the malware it sees today is specifically built for extracting credit card information, Social Security numbers and other data, which can be used to facilitate identity theft. In fact, 66 percent of the threats in PandaLabs' malware database are Trojans that specialize in sensitive data extraction.