Cook made the announcement during a meeting with senior officials in the city, which is renowned as a major global hub for electronics manufacturing. The choice is strategic for Apple, as it the home of Foxconn, which famously makes Apple products including the iPhone, and also because China is a key market for the company.
"We are excited to be opening a new research and development center here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners," Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock told Reuters.
The Shenzhen center, along with a separate center already announced for Beijing, will allow Apple to ensure it attracts top local talent, he added.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.