Apple’s planned R&D center in Yokohama, Japan, appears to have fallen behind schedule. We got our first look at renders of the funky-looking building a little over a year ago, when the city’s mayor reported that construction would begin in 2015 and complete in 2016. But Japanese blog Macotakara now reports that a construction board outside the site says that it will instead complete in March 2017.
We first learned of plans for the building back in 2014, when the Japanese prime minister said that the facility “will be on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centres in Asia.”
It’s believed that Apple’s main reason for establishing the centre is to attract local engineers who would not be willing to relocate to Cupertino. This is the likely motivation behind a number of satellite R&D facilities the company has set up around the U.S. and the globe, among them 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.