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Apple’s apparent trend of expanding its R&D efforts beyond Cupertino continues with the announcement of a “large research and development facility” in Japan.

While few details were given in local media reports (via Reuters), the source of the information appears rather reliable – a statement by Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo … 

Abe Shinzo said that the facility “will be on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centres in Asia.”

After many years of restricting almost all R&D work to Cupertino, Apple has in the past couple of years opened development offices elsewhere, both within the US and globally. These include chip development in both Israel and Florida, software engineering in Seattle, Siri work in Boston, an Apple University program in China, likely image analysis work in Sweden and unspecified R&D offices in England, probably intended to tap academic research expertise.

While there is of course no shortage of research expertise in California, not all research talent will be willing to relocate. Establishing satellite offices allows Apple to hire that talent wherever it is found.

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