A new report out of Israel-based business newspaper Calcalist [Google Translate] claims Apple CEO Tim Cook is planning to make a trip to Israel next week to coincide with the grand opening of the company's newest office space in the country. The plans are, however, yet to be finalized.
The project, housed in the beachfront district of Herzliya Pituach, has been ongoing since the middle of 2013, when Apple signed a contract to lease 12,500 square meters of office space in the district.
With the project now completed, Apple is set to house 800 employees in an expanded footprint of 17,000 square meters (183,000 square feet). According to Haaretz, the company's R&D centers in Israel are focused on "storage space, processors and communications chips," so the new Herzliya offices are likely to be tied into those areas.
Apple has two other office spaces in Israel: one much farther out from Herzliya in Haifa and another within walking distance of the new building in nearby Ra'anana. For that reason, Apple is expected to consolidate the Ra'anana offices into the new building once it's up and running.
As Haaretz noted back in 2013, many believe Apple's continued expansion overseas highlights the company's deep appreciation of foreign markets and its desire to keep the manufacturing of Apple products under as much of its own control as possible.
“Apple is preparing to drop external suppliers and to control its entire production process,” [Explace chairman Shlomo] Gradman said. “This is a company that maintains its secrecy and they’re currently exposed to information going every which way. So it’s buying companies and improving its abilities in the field of microelectronics so that it can control the production process from beginning to end."
“Even though Apple has been active in Israel for only a short time, the company has been impressed by the abilities here."
Apple first began making headway into Israel after purchasing flash memory firm Anobit to gather a few key components of the manufacturing of the iPhone and iPad - namely flash memory performance and reliability - under its own roof. A meeting last year between Cook and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed towards the company's continued interest in Israel's market, despite the specifics of the conversation being kept private.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.