Both Apple and Amazon have been searching for the perfect place to open a new campus - but their quests have been much different than you'd think

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Tim CookMike Blake/ReutersWe compared the two tech giants' quests for more space. Apple CEO Tim Cook pictured.

  • Amazon solicited proposals from cities across North America to host its second headquarters.
  • Apple is also looking for a new US campus - its fourth, though it hasn't initiated the same type of bidding war.
  • Both companies plan to spend billions and create thousands of jobs.
  • But there are also many differences, like where Amazon HQ2 and Apple's campus may end up.


Amazon and Apple are two of the most powerful companies in the world. And both are on the lookout for additional office space.

In 2017, Amazon announced that it was was searching for a second headquarters in North America, known as HQ2, and began accepting proposals from cities and regions across the continent.

Then, in 2018, Apple announced that it planned to build a fourth US campus, though there would be no bidding war.

On the surface, the searches seem similar: two tech giants scouring the US for the next best place, whose expansions will almost certainly create waves along with jobs wherever they end up.

But it turns out Amazon and Apple are looking for different things, in different places. Below, we've compared the two companies' search processes to see how they're similar - and where they diverge.

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Amazon is holding a bidding war to find a home for HQ2; Apple isn't

Amazon is holding a bidding war to find a home for HQ2; Apple isn't

Amazon said it received 238 proposals from cities and regions to host its second headquarters. In January 2018, it narrowed those options down to just 20 cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and Columbus, Ohio.

On its website, Amazon says it's choosing the city for its second headquarters through a public process because "we want to find a city that is excited to work with us and where our customers, employees, and the community can all benefit."

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Apple doesn't have plans to host the same kind of bidding war — though several cities have already showed interest.

Some experts think Amazon will build HQ2 in either New York City or Washington, DC; other experts suggest Apple's fourth campus may turn up in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, or Wisconsin

Some experts think Amazon will build HQ2 in either New York City or Washington, DC; other experts suggest Apple's fourth campus may turn up in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, or Wisconsin

In a YouTube video, Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University's business school who predicted that Amazon would buy Whole Foods, said Amazon will choose either the NYC metro area or the DC metro area for HQ2.

That's partly because those cities are where they can attract the best talent and partly because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will want to spend time there, Galloway said.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg looked at Moody's Analytics, which considered factors such as tax incentives and local business environment, human capital, and transportation, and determined that Apple would likely build its fourth campus in the northeast, southeast, or midwest.

Bloomberg also reported that the East Coast has an advantage in that it can provide customer support before call centers in Texas and California open for the day. Plus it's close to suppliers.

California and Texas are options for Amazon HQ2; Apple has said it isn't considering those states

California and Texas are options for Amazon HQ2; Apple has said it isn't considering those states

Amazon HQ2 may wind up in Los Angeles, California; Austin, Texas; or Dallas, Texas, according to the company.

Apple, however, is steering clear of California, the home of its $5 billion "spaceship" campus, and Texas, where it already has a large presence.

Amazon expects to create up to 50,000 jobs at HQ2; Apple expects to create 20,000

Amazon expects to create up to 50,000 jobs at HQ2; Apple expects to create 20,000

Amazon said it will create up to 50,000 new jobs at the site of HQ2, Business Insider's Dennis Green reported. According to Amazon's website, it employs more than 90,000 people in the US full-time.

Apple has said it plans to hire 20,000 new workers over the next five years, both at current campuses and at the new one. As Business Insider's Kif Leswing reported, Apple already employs 84,000 people in all 50 US states.

Amazon will invest $5 billion in HQ2; Apple expects to invest $30 billion in the next 5 years, including spending on its new campus

Amazon will invest $5 billion in HQ2; Apple expects to invest $30 billion in the next 5 years, including spending on its new campus

Amazon has said it will invest $5 billion on building its HQ2.

In a January 2018 statement, Apple said it expects to invest "over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over the next five years."

Amazon HQ2 may hold many different types of employees; Apple said its fourth campus will house technical-support employees specifically

Amazon HQ2 may hold many different types of employees; Apple said its fourth campus will house technical-support employees specifically

Amazon hasn't specified the types of employees that will work at HQ2. On its website, it says HQ2 "will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle." What's more, HQ2 "is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs" in the surrounding community.

In the January statement, Apple said the new campus would initially be designated for technical support for customers.

Both Amazon and Apple are expected to announce their decisions for the location of their new campuses this year

Both Amazon and Apple are expected to announce their decisions for the location of their new campuses this year

The suspense may seem unbearable, but it will likely last a while longer.

Amazon is expected to make a decision as to the site of HQ2 in 2018, according to its website.

In the January statement, Apple said it will announce the location of its fourth campus later this year.

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