All items tagged with "Japan"

Move over China! Japan wants to take over iPhone manufacturing

Tim Cook meeting an iPhone manufacturer in China.

Tim Cook meeting an iPhone manufacturer in China.

Being an Apple manufacturer is a pretty lucrative market if you can get in on it, which is why it’s no surprise to hear that Apple’s existing partners are constantly fending off challenges from upstarts promising to do whatever they can do — only cheaper and better.

According to a new report, Japanese manufacturers are currently making a concerted effort to secure more orders from Apple, which currently deals mainly with companies based in Taiwan and China.

If the Japan-based companies do manage to muscle-in on the Apple supply chain, it could result in iPhone manufacturing becoming even more of an international affair than it already is, while also having a potentially massive impact on existing Chinese iPhone makers.

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Apple and IBM team up to help Japan’s senior citizens

The news marks the next step in Apple's relationship with IBM. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The news marks the next step in Apple’s relationship with IBM. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is teaming with IBM and Japan Post on a pilot scheme that will hand up to 5 million iPads out to elderly people in Japan by 2020, to help them keep in touch with their families, physicians and community.

In addition to existing iPad apps like FaceTime and Messages, the tablets will come loaded with custom IBM apps designed to help remind senior citizens to take their medication, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet, while also allowing direct access to community support services such as grocery shopping.

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Giants gobble tiny humans in first Attack on Titan trailer

The Titans are back, and they're hungry. Photo: Toho Distribution

The Titans are back, and they’re hungry. Photo: Toho Distribution

Attack on Titan, the cult-hit in ink (manga) and on the small screen (anime), is getting a live-action treatment this summer. The good news is that the feature film is hitting Japan on August 1 and Australia and New Zealand later this same year. The bad news is that we have no details on a U.S. release, though both the manga and anime are still available in this country.

The film is the first of two planned parts, with the second flick, Attack on Titan: End of the World, headed to Japan this coming September.

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Apple’s new Japanese R&D center in all its shiny glory

The new R&D center looks to have some interesting design flourishes. Either that or it's a mirage. Photo:

The new R&D center looks to have some interesting design flourishes. Either that or it’s a mirage. Photo:

Apple’s spaceship-style Campus 2 isn’t the only impressive Apple building on the horizon. The first render for the company’s giant R&D center in Yokohama, Japan, is out — and it looks spectacular!

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ILE Equipment bags are made in America but big in Japan


“Inspiration comes in weird places,” says Eric Fischer, owner of ILE Equipment. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

BERKELEY, Calif. — ILE is big in Japan. The California bag company has found a market with the Japanese bike website Blue Lug, and the collaboration keeps pushing ILE into new bags, materials, hardware and color choices.

Eric Fischer, 26, launched ILE (short for “Inside Line Equipment”) out of his apartment four short years ago. He was racing bikes, buying fabric and making bags one at a time for himself, his friends and friends of friends.

“I always liked making things, but building buildings didn’t seem scalable,” Fischer told Cult of Mac. “Making bags seemed more like a painting rather than building a house.”

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Apple Watch gets booth in trendy Tokyo department store, more planned


We know which part of the store we’re, err, Watching. Photo: Macotakara

Considering that the Apple Watch goes on sale in a little over one month, Apple has still provided relatively few details about how exactly it’s going to be selling its upscale wearable devices.

Some images posted by Japanese Apple blog Macotakara offer a few hints, however. The photos show an Apple Watch booth or mini-store at the upmarket Isetan department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The sign reads “WATCH: Coming Soon.”

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See crazy Japanese robot stuff tomatoes in runner’s mouth

The Tomatan robot feeds runners tomatoes. Photo: Kagome Co.

The Tomatan robot feeds runners tomatoes. Photo: Kagome Co.

Energy gels are so 2014. When it comes to winning races, modern marathon runners need a robot that straps to their back and force-feeds them tomatoes.

Luckily, Japan has already delivered this technological wonder. Wait till you see it in action!

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Old flip-phones are the iPhone’s newest rival in Japan


Are flip-phones making a comeback? Photo: Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz/Flickr CC

The iPhone has been killing it in Japan lately. Apple’s smartphone marketshare in the tech-obsessed country is continuing to dominate year-over-year, even though the company had a hard time giving out iPhones just five years ago.

With the iPhone 6’s bigger screen, the company is making more of an inroads than ever, but according to a report from Reuters, smartphones in Japan are facing stiff from competition from an unlikely suspect: flip-phones.

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Samsung could be about to give up on Japan as iPhone sales soar

Samsung may be bidding a tactical retreat. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Samsung may be beating a tactical retreat. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Things aren’t looking too rosy for Samsung at the moment. Having seen profits slip due to its falling mobile sales, the flailing South Korean tech giant is reportedly considering throwing in the towel altogether in Japan, where it’s struggling more than elsewhere.

Samsung currently represents a miniscule 4 percent of the Japanese smartphone market, which puts it in sixth place. According to sources with Samsung, staying in Japan is actually losing rather than gaining the company money.

While Samsung hasn’t traditionally been a top-seller in Japan, here in 2015 it’s doing worse than ever: with the company’s favorite metric, marketshare, shrinking from 17 percent two years ago to low single digits today.

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Apple fans in Japan risk their lives for a Lucky Bag


Artist’s impression of “lucky” Apple fans. Photo: The Shining, Warner Bros.

How much would you endure to get a cheap deal on a new Apple product?

When we wrote about the traditional Japanese “Lucky Bag” special offer — which gives customers the chance to buy a $300 gift bag, containing cut-price luxuries like MacBook Airs and Apple TVs — many U.S.-based Cult of Mac readers complained that they weren’t given similar promotions.

I saw their point — at least until I glimpsed something much worse: photos showing the freezing Apple fans in question, lined up outside the Sapporo, Japan Apple Store on January 1.

You know that moment when an otherwise fun special offer turns into the last scene of The Shining (spoilers!)? This is it.

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