Apple is expanding its Irish operations further with the opening of its European engineering and test facility in Cork.
The new site is the first of its kind in Europe and will play a role in helping Apple to improve its products. It will test and analyse Apple products for the whole of Europe, with testing carried out across a wide range of products, functions and components.
Apple vice-president of European operations Cathy Kearney said the facility was a "really exciting addition" to the work Apple was doing in Cork.
The facility, which is a former warehouse close to the existing Apple facility in Cork, will use high-tech equipment on-site including CT scanners and electron microscopes. Apple retained the original warehouse structure and invested tens of millions of euro in fitting it out to open the test centre.
Apple has not indicated exactly how many people will work at the facility but the roles will consist of highly skilled engineers and technicians. Work has already begun at the engineering and test facility, and operations will be ramped up in the coming years, growing with Apple.
"We built this for the long term. It really is a very long-term strategic investment from us. It's thanks to the expertise built over the last 40 years, and the quality of talent in Apple in Cork and across Ireland, that Cork is the natural home for Apple's European engineering and test facility. It's a natural evolution of all the investments over those years."
Ms Kearney said that although a number had not been put on the jobs, some roles would “naturally evolve” there, and getting the right skills would take time.
The announcement comes as Apple employees in Cork are returning more widely to the office, with a hybrid-working model being introduced.
Apple currently employs more than 6,000 people in Cork, including 680 on the artificial intelligence/machine learning team that was established in late 2019. It also touches other aspects of Apple’s business, including manufacturing, logistics, finance, sales and customer care.
It is the largest private employer in Cork, and celebrated its 40th anniversary there in November 2020.