Apple to reportedly open R&D center in backyard of BlackBerry's auto division

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2016
A report on Wednesday claims Apple recently leased office space in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, Canada that BlackBerry's QNX Software Systems arm calls home, suggesting the iPhone maker might be looking to develop automotive software in the region.


Source: KRP Properties


Citing people familiar with the matter, the Ottawa Business Journal reports Apple will take up residence in the G. Best Building at Kanata Research Park. Ottawa-based tech company DragonWave is currently the main tenant -- its logo dominates the building's facade -- but the website of building owner KRP Properties has a listing open for a 22,100-square-foot suite.

A description of the property notes a "full-floor office suite" with an executive boardroom, meeting rooms, offices, a server room, lunchroom, lab space and even showers, according to the report.

Kanata is home to QNX Software Systems, a BlackBerry offshoot focusing on automotive software solutions. There is no evidence to support claims that Apple plans to conduct automotive product research in the region, but opening an office near QNX's headquarters is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

According to recent reports, Apple is looking to greatly expand its overseas R&D operations. For example, a Japanese research center in Yokohama will supposedly tap into local talent specializing in materials science, vehicles and health industries. Apple will also break ground or expand existing facilities in China, Israel and the UK university city of Cambridge.

Apple is widely rumored to be working on a self-driving electric vehicle under the code name "Project Titan." AppleInsider last year reported that the operation was based out of a secret facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., but the ambitious project is thought to have grown substantially since that time. The company could expand into a nearby property in San Jose or offload R&D to international offices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,958member
    What? If I rent a house next to a Honda manufacturing building, does that mean I'm going to start building or even designing cars?
  • Reply 2 of 13
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,811member
    dysamoria said:
    What? If I rent a house next to a Honda manufacturing building, does that mean I'm going to start building or even designing cars?

    No, but you can be sure that a large number of people in the field live near the facility, therefor, one can assume that if you're looking for people with that specific talent set, then you'd want to set up your own facility in the general area.

    If Apple is building their own car (or even an after market console system), then it's going to include their own underlying operating system(s) to control it. QNX is the most widely used embedded industrial OS.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 3 of 13
    cintoscintos Posts: 105member
    Ah, yes. In Blackberry's backyard. This present an opportunity for me to toss out my wild speculation that Apple has plans to "merge" with Blackberry and re-domicile corporate headquarters to Canada. Why? Taxes. Apple would simply join a growing conga line of entities moving from the USA for the same reason. When all we have left is Burger Kings and car washes, Congress might get a clue and fix this. The United States is one of only six industrialized nations (of 34 OECD members) that taxes domestic corporations on a worldwide basis. In the past fifteen years, thirteen OECD countries have moved to a territorial system that exempts all or most of active foreign earned income from domestic taxation.[4] Seems like some countries encourage their corporations to "export", unlike the USA. [4] PricewaterhouseCoopers, Evolution of Territorial Tax Systems in the OECD, prepared for the Technology CEO Council (Apr. 2, 2013), http://www.techceocouncil.org/clientuploads/reports/Report on Territorial Tax Systems_20130402b.pdf.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 13
    cintos said:
    Ah, yes. In Blackberry's backyard. This present an opportunity for me to toss out my wild speculation that Apple has plans to "merge" with Blackberry and re-domicile corporate headquarters to Canada. Why? Taxes. Apple would simply join a growing conga line of entities moving from the USA for the same reason. When all we have left is Burger Kings and car washes, Congress might get a clue and fix this. The United States is one of only six industrialized nations (of 34 OECD members) that taxes domestic corporations on a worldwide basis. In the past fifteen years, thirteen OECD countries have moved to a territorial system that exempts all or most of active foreign earned income from domestic taxation.[4] Seems like some countries encourage their corporations to "export", unlike the USA. [4] PricewaterhouseCoopers, Evolution of Territorial Tax Systems in the OECD, prepared for the Technology CEO Council (Apr. 2, 2013), http://www.techceocouncil.org/clientuploads/reports/Report on Territorial Tax Systems_20130402b.pdf.
    Assuming your information is correct this is a very powerful insight. Many times we are more worried about left and right politics versus working together to make our country "the best". Many of the solutions are not overnight solutions but are fairly easy to execute if we can get our government to set aside personal agendas and focus on the good of the nation.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,811member
    cintos said:
    Ah, yes. In Blackberry's backyard. This present an opportunity for me to toss out my wild speculation that Apple has plans to "merge" with Blackberry and re-domicile corporate headquarters to Canada. Why? Taxes. Apple would simply join a growing conga line of entities moving from the USA for the same reason. When all we have left is Burger Kings and car washes, Congress might get a clue and fix this. The United States is one of only six industrialized nations (of 34 OECD members) that taxes domestic corporations on a worldwide basis. In the past fifteen years, thirteen OECD countries have moved to a territorial system that exempts all or most of active foreign earned income from domestic taxation.[4] Seems like some countries encourage their corporations to "export", unlike the USA. [4] PricewaterhouseCoopers, Evolution of Territorial Tax Systems in the OECD, prepared for the Technology CEO Council (Apr. 2, 2013), http://www.techceocouncil.org/clientuploads/reports/Report on Territorial Tax Systems_20130402b.pdf.
    Assuming your information is correct this is a very powerful insight. Many times we are more worried about left and right politics versus working together to make our country "the best". Many of the solutions are not overnight solutions but are fairly easy to execute if we can get our government to set aside personal agendas and focus on the good of the nation.

    That's assuming we actually lived in a democracy in the US. Unfortunately, it is only merely the remnants of one. The politicians we vote into office are soon bought and paid for by other interests. Our votes are no longer worth a damn. The almighty dollar has the final say.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    mjtomlin said:
    Assuming your information is correct this is a very powerful insight. Many times we are more worried about left and right politics versus working together to make our country "the best". Many of the solutions are not overnight solutions but are fairly easy to execute if we can get our government to set aside personal agendas and focus on the good of the nation.

    That's assuming we actually lived in a democracy in the US. Unfortunately, it is only merely the remnants of one. The politicians we vote into office are soon bought and paid for by other interests. Our votes are no longer worth a damn. The almighty dollar has the final say.
    The US is a republic, not a democracy. You'd be doing yourself a favor if you learned the difference and why it was designed this way.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    cintos said:
    Ah, yes. In Blackberry's backyard. This present an opportunity for me to toss out my wild speculation that Apple has plans to "merge" with Blackberry and re-domicile corporate headquarters to Canada. Why? Taxes. Apple would simply join a growing conga line of entities moving from the USA for the same reason. When all we have left is Burger Kings and car washes, Congress might get a clue and fix this. The United States is one of only six industrialized nations (of 34 OECD members) that taxes domestic corporations on a worldwide basis. In the past fifteen years, thirteen OECD countries have moved to a territorial system that exempts all or most of active foreign earned income from domestic taxation.[4] Seems like some countries encourage their corporations to "export", unlike the USA. [4] PricewaterhouseCoopers, Evolution of Territorial Tax Systems in the OECD, prepared for the Technology CEO Council (Apr. 2, 2013), http://www.techceocouncil.org/clientuploads/reports/Report on Territorial Tax Systems_20130402b.pdf.
    It is fairly certain they are doing this because the Canadian dollar is at a 10 year low and they can staff a whole office in Canada for nearly half what it would cost in the US right now. Actually doing business primarily in Canada is nothing thing. Canada is not cheap and easy to do business in generally, other than when our dollar is down. I suspect if Apple was fleeing the US they would pick a better place than Canada. The fact is Apple is worldwide and files tax in most jurisdictions. The US may tax people and entities globally but the tax rates are far lower than Canada and many other developed countries.
    auxio
  • Reply 8 of 13
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,961member
    cintos said:
    Ah, yes. In Blackberry's backyard. This present an opportunity for me to toss out my wild speculation that Apple has plans to "merge" with Blackberry and re-domicile corporate headquarters to Canada. Why? Taxes. Apple would simply join a growing conga line of entities moving from the USA for the same reason.
    Moving to Canada for tax benefits?  I admit that I don't know what the current corporate taxation rate is here, but I'd be willing to bet that it's higher than the US because we have universal health care and a (somewhat) decently funded public education system.  Both of which require higher taxation to fund (but are well worth it IMO).

    No, I'd be willing to bet that it's because the Canadian dollar is lower than it's been in a very long time.  Hence labour (R&D + production) costs are far cheaper here.  That, combined with the fact that Canada has a skilled technology labour force (unlike most other countries with low value currency), and is in close proximity to the US, makes us attractive to US businesses (when our dollar is low).
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 9 of 13
    IanSIanS Posts: 31member
    We would be happy to have them here in Ottawa. Things have not been the same since the fall of Nortel. Corporate taxes in Canada are low and some US companies already have moved here. Take a look at this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates Our health system also tends to let companies provide there employees with less health benefits than in the US again lowering the total wage. Another tax link from KPMG http://www.kpmg.com/ca/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/press-releases/pages/canada-remains-most-competitive-business-tax-environment.aspx I do think they are quite interested though in poaching workers from QNX. This company has a long history in Ottawa, long before they were purchased by Blackberry. I did some design work for them in the early 90s. Ottawa also is the home of two universities, supplying new talent every year.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Just a couple of thoughts:  Kanata isn't just Blackberry or even QNX.  It is, arguably, one of the epicenters of embedded systems development in the world.   There are a lot of resources there and the applicant pool is relatively large and personnel costs are certainly cheaper than the Bay Area.    

    Secondly, Apple has a pretty big challenge in front of themselves getting into the auto business.  Car companies (and associated Tier 1 suppliers) would sell their mother to get an additional dime in margin on a per car basis.  The Apple brand won't mean that much to the auto companies if Apple is not competitive with other vendors.  


  • Reply 11 of 13
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,961member
    IanS said:
    We would be happy to have them here in Ottawa. Things have not been the same since the fall of Nortel. Corporate taxes in Canada are low and some US companies already have moved here. Take a look at this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates Our health system also tends to let companies provide there employees with less health benefits than in the US again lowering the total wage. Another tax link from KPMG http://www.kpmg.com/ca/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/press-releases/pages/canada-remains-most-competitive-business-tax-environment.aspx I do think they are quite interested though in poaching workers from QNX. This company has a long history in Ottawa, long before they were purchased by Blackberry. I did some design work for them in the early 90s. Ottawa also is the home of two universities, supplying new talent every year.
    Wow, didn't realize the base corporate tax rate was 35% in the US -- there must be other tax incentives/loopholes which reduce the overall amount.  But yeah, based purely on percentage, Canada is pretty competitive then.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    cintos said:
    When all we have left is Burger Kings and car washes, Congress might get a clue and fix this.
    Congress is too late; Burger King already left the US for Canada: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/burger-king-buy-tim-hortons-move-headquarters-canada-article-1.1917058
  • Reply 13 of 13
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,958member
    mjtomlin said:
    dysamoria said:
    What? If I rent a house next to a Honda manufacturing building, does that mean I'm going to start building or even designing cars?

    No, but you can be sure that a large number of people in the field live near the facility, therefor, one can assume that if you're looking for people with that specific talent set, then you'd want to set up your own facility in the general area.

    If Apple is building their own car (or even an after market console system), then it's going to include their own underlying operating system(s) to control it. QNX is the most widely used embedded industrial OS.
    Thanks for that reply. Makes sense now. 
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