This render provides our first look at Apple’s plan to build a sizeable new R&D center in Japan. We first heard that Apple would be building a facility “on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centers in Asia” from the Japanese Prime Minister late last year.
Japanese news site NHK reports that the center will be built on the outskirts of Yokohama, the second biggest city in Japan after nearby Tokyo. The city’s mayor announced in a news conference that Apple had purchased the remains of a Panasonic factory on the site, and would be building a 25,000 square meter facility over four floors. The scale of the building would suggest that it could accommodate around several hundred employees, though Apple may of course be allowing for future expansion.
Unsurprisingly, the planned building is said to be environmentally friendly, designed to use low levels of energy, recycled water and trees planted on the roof. Construction is scheduled to begin before the end of the year, completing at some point next year.
Yokohama has a population of 3.7M people, and is one of Japan’s major port cities.
While Apple’s new spaceship campus will allow it to house many more of its employees on a single site, having satellite offices around the world allows Apple to tap into local expertise and hire talent who might be unwilling to relocate to the USA.
Other satellite R&D facilities 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.