Tim Cook says Japan's Seiko Advance is why there's a Midnight Green iPhone

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple CEO Tim Cook met with ink firm Seiko Advance during his tour of Japan, and the supplier has now revealed more of what it means to be an iPhone color provider.

Seiko Advance makes all the colors for the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Seiko Advance makes all the colors for the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max


During his tour of Japan in early December, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited suppliers including Seiko Advance, which produces inks for iPhone casings. He said at the time that the company's "craftmanship and attention to detail" is the "reason" there is a Midnight Green and that all the iPhone 11 Pro colors are "gorgeous."

Now Seiki Advance has told Nikkei Asian Review more details about how Tim Cook and Apple have worked with the company.

"Cook showed us his attitude to deal with any company with high technology," said Yukinori Kabe, Seiko Advance sales manager. "However small you are, Apple will be your customer if you have outstanding technology."

Kabe was the manager sent to visit Apple when the company requested pitches from ink manufacturers in 2011.

"[Visiting Apple was a] very different world," he said. "At that time, we found that we couldn't meet Apple's high standards."

All four colors that Seiko Advance currently provides for the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (Source: Apple)
All four colors that Seiko Advance currently provides for the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (Source: Apple)


According to Kabe, Apple required its suppliers to meet hundreds of different quality criteria. Seiko Advance then spent four years working toward becoming a supplier, after which Apple initially used the company for black ink on iPhones.

"[Now] we are the sole supplier of colors for the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max," he said.

One key requirement for Apple was to do with environmental concerns. Reportedly, the production of green ink typically results in pollutants, but Seiko Advance developed a new way that was cleaner, and provided more durable, high color-accuracy inks.

Toshio Hiraguri, president of Seiko Advance, told Nikkei Asian Review that the ink company is the only one in the world that utilizes a cleanroom to control temperature and humidity.

While he believes this gives the firm an edge over its competitors, he says that competition is rising in China.

"Chinese companies are rapidly catching up," he said. "If we fall into price competition, we will be in a very tough position. We need to maintain quality to win."
jahblade
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    Interesting. : D
  • Reply 2 of 27
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,222member
     "If we fall into price competition, we will be in a very tough position. We need to maintain quality to win."

    That has been my take in software over the past 20 years. I don’t compete on price with India but both depth and width of ability. I spend a good deal on personal education in some niche areas (like writing software for high radiation environments) but it has paid off well. 

    Competing downwards is a dangerous game. Competing upwards, however, forces you to always be learning.  
    baconstangGG1cornchipStrangeDaysrazorpitlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    The green really is beautiful. Now find a supplier of unbreakable glass so we don’t have to cover these things up with fucking cases. :)


    prairiewalkerFatmankitatitneo-techjahbladelostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 27
    The green really is beautiful. Now find a supplier of unbreakable glass so we don’t have to cover these things up with fucking cases. :)
    For many years now if I'm not at the gym, or out getting into trouble with adult beverages, there is no case on my phone. Digging the green.
    minicoffeefastasleepwatto_cobrajdb8167
  • Reply 5 of 27
    Apple: cash + x. Where x stands for what’s increasingly rare to find: tangible values beyond economic success and a mission. 

    According to an interview with Ahrendts during her interview with Cook she asked what exactly she was being hired for. To which he supposedly answered something along „leave the world a better place“ (can’t find the source right now). This article makes sich statements more credible. 
    minicoffeewatto_cobrajdb8167
  • Reply 6 of 27
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    Like 5% of males I have deuteranomaly making the midnight green virtually indistinguishable from the space black.

  • Reply 7 of 27
    dunks said:
    Like 5% of males I have deuteranomaly making the midnight green virtually indistinguishable from the space black.

    You’re missing a color that is quite different and pleasing 
    radarthekatjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,765member
    Did some reading and learned that the ink is used as part of the anodizing process. Anodizing builds up a thicker oxide layer on the part which better accepts the ink (dye). The part has to be sealed after ink application, sometimes with nickel acetate. There are many variables in anodizing parts so it's hard to say what specific process Apple uses. 
    Solipscooter63jahbladetmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,045member
    Man, I really love that Midnight Green. I'm truly disappointed it's on such a big, to me, phone. My 5s and SE are my favorite iPhones of all time (so far) and I don't want a larger phone.

    BUT– that Midnight Green 11 Pro sings it's siren song. There's a lot to like about the 11P however the size puts me off. Then the Green... 
    kitatitlostkiwiwatto_cobrastantheman
  • Reply 10 of 27
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,030member
    I really like the Midnight Green, but I didn't see a reason to get anything more then the iPhone 11 this time around so it wasn't an option. Hopefully in a few years it'll still be available.

    PS: I remember when I used to get a new iPhone every year.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Took the phone out of the box and put on a glass protector and put it in the case I had ordered. Just took it out now to look at this green color for the first time and then put it back in the case. I tried going commando with my X once and broke the glass in a few weeks so won’t be doing that again ... 
    kitatitmacguijahbladelostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    silvergold84silvergold84 Posts: 100unconfirmed, member
    Actually the iPhone in midnight green is beautiful 😍 day by day you can appreciate it more and more
    jahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    thrangthrang Posts: 892member
    dunks said:
    Like 5% of males I have deuteranomaly making the midnight green virtually indistinguishable from the space black.

    You look like the Judi Dench character in Cats? 

  • Reply 14 of 27
    Apple: cash + x. Where x stands for what’s increasingly rare to find: tangible values beyond economic success and a mission. 

    According to an interview with Ahrendts during her interview with Cook she asked what exactly she was being hired for. To which he supposedly answered something along „leave the world a better place“ (can’t find the source right now). This article makes sich statements more credible. 
    Then she’d rather been working at applied research to find cobalt, lithium tin...etc.  alternatives instead of redesigning shops, moving iDevices up the luxury ladder, or selling fashion stuff at Burberry. It’s the lifestyle she stands for that’s depleting the planet instead of making it better
    edited December 2019 radarthekat
  • Reply 15 of 27
    The green really is beautiful. Now find a supplier of unbreakable glass so we don’t have to cover these things up with fucking cases. :)
    For many years now if I'm not at the gym, or out getting into trouble with adult beverages, there is no case on my phone. Digging the green.
    I’ve only started using a case after replacing my iPhone X, having broken the back and then the front. I just dropped it in it’s current case and it still cracked the front. I was just saying to someone I might next go back to naked but get a heavier duty case only for when out drinking, which would eliminate most risk. I hate cases so the current one I have is fairly thin. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27

    Apple: cash + x. Where x stands for what’s increasingly rare to find: tangible values beyond economic success and a mission. 

    According to an interview with Ahrendts during her interview with Cook she asked what exactly she was being hired for. To which he supposedly answered something along „leave the world a better place“ (can’t find the source right now). This article makes sich statements more credible. 
    Then she’d rather been working at applied research to find cobalt, lithium tin...etc.  alternatives instead of redesigning shops, moving iDevices up the luxury ladder, or selling fashion stuff at Burberry. It’s the lifestyle she stands for that’s depleting the planet instead of making it better
    They have materials and supply chain experts already, genius. 
    watto_cobraRayz2016
  • Reply 17 of 27
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    "Chinese companies are rapidly catching up," he said. 

    This Japanese company spent 4 years developing this specialized ink and process, and did so in a more environmentally friendly way. They did it in a legal, moral, honorable way - with hard work and creativity. They deserve to be respected, recognized, applauded and compensated for their efforts. What boils my blood is that a Chinese company, probably within a few months, will steal and duplicate this process, with encouragement and subsidies from the Chinese government, at a price that the Japanese company that invented it will no longer be able to compete with - driving them out of business.
    kitatitmacguiradarthekatkudutmaylostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,251member
    The green really is beautiful. Now find a supplier of unbreakable glass so we don’t have to cover these things up with fucking cases. :)
    For many years now if I'm not at the gym, or out getting into trouble with adult beverages, there is no case on my phone. Digging the green.
    I’ve only started using a case after replacing my iPhone X, having broken the back and then the front. I just dropped it in it’s current case and it still cracked the front. I was just saying to someone I might next go back to naked but get a heavier duty case only for when out drinking, which would eliminate most risk. I hate cases so the current one I have is fairly thin. 
    I have never broken or even scratched an iPhone until I got my Xs. I got before a trip and didn't have time to get the case I wanted from Spigen so I picked up one from Best Buy and despite that the back glass broke. More recently I also noticed a scratch on the front glass and am starting to wonder if there was a change int he materials. Either way, I've always found iPhones much easer to drop when they don't have a case, so even though it's a shame to cover up a beautiful phone I always keep a case on mine.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,045member
    MplsP said:
    I've always found iPhones much easer to drop when they don't have a case, so even though it's a shame to cover up a beautiful phone I always keep a case on mine.
    That's the reason I always have my phones in cases. However, if I had the M-G, I'd probably try for a protector front and back like Invisible Shield or a cheap throwaway clear TPU or silicone case.

    Increasing the grip goes far to preventing damage to the phones. I've owned the original phone, the 3GS, the 4s 5s and SE. They've all been easy to hold, nary a slip. Checking out every newer phone since, I've noticed how slippery they are especially with the thin edges affording very little surface area for gripping.


  • Reply 20 of 27
    kudukudu Posts: 44member
    AppleCare Plus solves all problems, including going commando. 
    lostkiwiwatto_cobra
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