Apple's Japanese R&D center to tap into local materials, vehicle and health talent

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
Alongside an expanding retail presence, Apple is building out research and development operations around the globe, including a facility in Yokohama, Japan that will reportedly focus on materials, vehicle and health segments.




According to a report from print publication Nikkei Electronics, picked up by DigiTimes, Apple is looking to use its Japanese research center to hire local talent well versed in industries to which it is a newcomer.

While the iPhone maker has multiple teams working on materials science and consumer applications, as evidenced by recent metallurgy breakthroughs introduced with Apple Watch, only a few are thought to be focused exclusively on vehicles and health. It is not known if Apple plans to concentrate on in-car entertainment or actual automotive heavy industries, but Japan is a leader in both areas.

That Apple was able to successfully pitch an R&D facility on Japanese soil is a sign of changing times in a country traditionally wary of outsiders. Helping Apple's efforts along was a stimulus plan of sorts set up by the local government to boost supply chain development and encourage innovation, the report said citing industry sources. Demand for Japanese tech has waned in recent years as companies based in China and South Korea gain ground.

Apple's R&D center will spread 269,000 square feet of work space over four floors in a building located on land previously owned by Panasonic. The initiative was first revealed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December, who said the facility would be comparable to other Apple assets in the region. Construction is expected to begin later this year with an estimated completion date in 2016.

Other Apple investments in the region include a rumored stake in Japan Display's $1.4 billion plant, which industry insiders claim will be largely dedicated to producing screens for Apple products.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Very exciting
  • Reply 2 of 9
    And guess what. Apple is making a car.
    The only question left being how much RAM it's going to have.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Well that interview with Stephen Fry Jony Ive said he would be travelling more...so perhaps Japan will be one of his travel spots. ;)
  • Reply 4 of 9
    And guess what. Apple is making a car.
    The only question left being how much RAM it's going to have.

    Imagine everyone's face when Apple puts out a car... in Japan first.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Easiest and most genuine way to diversify your workforce.

    Easiest because if you open up where the minority is a majority then you hire the majority.

    Genuine because pretending skin color equals diversity when they all grew up in the same cities with the same culture and went the same universities popping out with the same brains.

    This will build real diversity into the world view of Apple.

    More such places, for all parts of the company, in more countries.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleinsiderFrm View Post



    And guess what. Apple is making a car.

    The only question left being how much RAM it's going to have.

     

    Barely enough, Young Grasshopper, but enough...

  • Reply 7 of 9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AeronPrometheus View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleinsiderFrm View Post



    And guess what. Apple is making a car.

    The only question left being how much RAM it's going to have.




    Imagine everyone's face when Apple puts out a car... in Japan first.

    In one way it makes sense, most of Apple's billions are outside the USA.

    Imagine what Apple could do stateside with all that money, if they could bring it home without double taxation.

  • Reply 8 of 9
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,991member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Well that interview with Stephen Fry Jony Ive said he would be travelling more...so perhaps Japan will be one of his travel spots. image



    A car body and interior designed by Ive. Now I’d like to see that!

  • Reply 9 of 9
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    lkrupp wrote: »

    A car body and interior designed by Ive. Now I’d like to see that!

    Well he drives a Bentley so I wonder if it would take any influences from that. I found the quote below from an old Goodwood interview with Ive.
    “I am preoccupied by ideas of forming and transforming. I struggle with the arbitrariness of most modern design. We are surrounded by so much stuff which has just not earned the right to exist in three dimensions. Look inside a typical modern car. Look at the dashboard and ask yourself why is it like that? What does that shape mean? There is not an answer. To say ‘I like it’ is just not good enough.”

    Make one wonder how he would go about designing the dashboard of an Apple car.
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