Apple to Open Major New Research Center in Japan -アップルが日本に大規模研究開発施設を新設


This article is presented bilingually in English and Japanese. For Japanese, click here. この記事は日本語でもお読みいただけます。日本語はこちら

Apple recently confirmed that it will open a new research site in Yokohama, Japan, in the spring of 2015. The mayor of Yokohama city, Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, stated that the city welcomed Apple’s new facility at the city’s regular press conference in mid-December 2014. The new Apple facility will become the biggest technical development center in Asia.

Apple will expand its operations in Japan from a sales-oriented approach to incorporate research and development with this new technical development center. One of the reasons why Apple sees Japan as an ideal location for the new development center is that the company has a loyal following there, and very strong sales figures. While Android-based phones dominate in most other markets, iPhones outperformed Android phones in Japan in 2013, and their market-share was even with Android phones in 2014. Japan alone accounts for 10% of all of Apple’s sales worldwide.

Many Japanese companies supply components for Apple products, so locating R&D facilities near those firms will make closer cooperation much easier. The iPhone contains components by Japanese companies such as Murata Manufacturing and TDK, among others.

Yokohama city, a port city near Tokyo, is active in inviting foreign companies, and has a special economic zone (SEZ) for foreign investors. The site where Apple will open its new technical development center is in an SEZ designed as a research and development hub in life sciences. This has led to predictions that Apple will focus on developing health-care-related products, including wearable health care devices. There is a strong market for such products in Japan, which is a rapidly aging society with a high demand for advanced technologies.