Apple chooses Israel for its first R&D center outside Cupertino

Sunday, December 18, 2011 |  Ryan Jones  

Apple Inc. has become recognized as the world's most innovative technology company in recent years. Yet, surprisingly, Apple pumps very little of its considerable revenue into research and development of new technology. But that is about to change as Apple expands to Israel with its first technology development center outside of its Cupertino, California headquarters.

In 2010, Apple spent a paltry $2.4 billion (only 2% of its annual revenue) on research and development. And all of that R&D took place at the company's headquarters. Apple has until now allowed only sales, marketing and support to be handled from outside its vaunted California headquarters. All technology-related work had to be done in-house, literally.

So, it is something of a badge of honor for the Israeli hi-tech scene that the Jewish state is the first place outside of Cupertino that Apple will be planting an R&D center.

Apple's Israel R&D center will be focusing on the development of semiconductors.

The news comes just days after reports that Apple is in advanced talks to buy Herzliya-based flash memory developer Anobit Ltd. It is being speculated that Anobit will be the new Apple R&D center, as flash memory technology is so important to Apple's main line of products, including the iPhone, iPad and Macbook Air.

Apple is far from the first major computer technology company to utilize Israel as a base for research and development. In fact, Apple is quite late to the party. For more than a decade Microsoft and Intel, to name just a couple, have maintained major R&D centers in Israel.

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