Another Apple research lab opening in China, close to suppliers

3 months ago
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The bulk of Apple’s new product development work takes place in Cupertino, but the company has a number of research labs around the world. Locations include China, France, Israel, Japan, Sweden and the UK. The company has today announced plans for a further lab in China.

Apple has two primary motivations for most of the overseas labs it operates, but there is an additional factor in the case of the latest example …

The primary reason for having research labs in different countries is to tap into local talent. While some researchers will be happy to relocate to Cupertino, others want to remain in their home country, so the only way Apple can recruit them is to set up labs in strategic cities around the world.

Additionally, Apple partners with academic institutions in each of the countries concerned, providing another source of local expertise.

In the case of China, political motivations likely also apply, but there’s a very practical reason for the location of the latest one. China Daily reports that it will be based in Shenzhen, which is home to many of Apple’s suppliers.

Apple Inc said on Tuesday that it is expanding in China with new applied research labs, in its latest move to tap into the country’s manufacturing and research and development prowess to produce the best products. Isabel Ge Mahe, vice-president and managing director of Apple Greater China, told China Daily that “We have already invested 1 billion yuan ($139.4 million) into applied research labs in China. And with the new expansion plan, our investment will continue growing” […] The US company will […] establish a new applied research lab in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, providing stronger support for employees in the region and deepening collaboration with local suppliers.

That local presence will make for easier collaboration between research and production teams when attempting to resolve manufacturing problems or set up test production runs using new materials.

Additionally, Apple is expanding its existing research lab in Shanghai.

A Pandaily report says that one focus of the labs will be how materials and devices stand up to challenging conditions.…Read more by Ben Lovejoy

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