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Happy Hanukkah: Apple to Open R & D Center in Israel

Apple may be building the "coolest office building ever" at its headquarters in Cupertino CA, but for the first time ever it will be doing strategic planning and R & D outside California.

Sources inform "Globes" that Apple Inc. has decided to open a development center in Israel focusing on semiconductors. The decision was taken even before the company entered into talks to acquire Herzliya-based flash storage solutions provider Anobit Ltd..

Apple has hired Aharon Aharon, a veteran player in Israel's high tech industry, to lead the new development center.

Although Apple is a global innovation leader, the company is a relatively small investor in R&D. The producer of the iPad and iPhone invested $2.4 billion in R&D in 2010, which was only 2% of its revenue, much less proportionately than other high-tech companies.

Apple's deployment of R&D activities is in line with this policy and the company has only one technology development center, which is at company headquarters in Cupertino, California. All activities outside of company headquarters revolve around marketing, sales and support. Strategic development is carried out at home. The planned Israel center will therefore be the company's first such center outside of its California headquarters.

But will they be working on the first flying automobile - the anxiously-awaited iCar?