Since iPhone sales in China continue to be on the decline, Apple is not only increasing its trips but also its commitment to the country. The Cupertino giant has been on what we like to call a ‘Please the Dragon‘ campaign for more than a year now, but no fruitful results to show for it. Their latest efforts are two additional research and development (R&D) centers, which Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced would be coming up in Shanghai and Suzhou later this year.
Tim Cook is currently undertaking yet another trip to China, one of Apple’s largest overseas markets. The tech giant is currently being bogged down in terms of sales by homegrown phone makers, who’ve rocketed to the prime spot by providing cutting-edge features in their affordable offerings.
In the previous year, Apple was pushed down to the fourth position in terms of sales in China. It was surpassed by Oppo, Huawei, and Vivo, causing its shipments to decline by 23.2 percent as compared to the previous year. The company has confirmed the flailing sales figures in its quarterly reports on the regular. Thus, this visit is particularly significant for the Cupertino giant, who’s looking to further contribute its fair share towards the development of the country.
The establishment of two new R&D centers in China, in addition to existing plans for similar facilities in Beijing and Shenzhen, further reinforces Apple’s insistent commitment to the region. Cupertino already carries out its manufacturing operations in China to keep its procurement and assembling costs to a minimum. It has, however, recently also been mulling over bringing some of these operations to the United States to please the new President.
But, it is now also planning to contribute to technological developments within the nation by attracting talent from nearby institutes such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University. In an official blog post, the Cupertino giant states that it has also partnered with schools in the region introduce an internship program, where Apple will enable the development of the next-gen of entrepreneurs. It has also committed more than 3.5 billion yuan (approx $505+ million) for the development of its R&D centers.
Speaking about this initiative in an official (translated) blog post, Apple’s SVP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio said,
With plans to expand R & D centers in China, we’re looking forward to (working with) more local partners and academic institutions. We are honored to have access to excellent talent and a positive entrepreneurial spirit in the region. Here the developers and suppliers will work together to make our business grow in this booming market.