All items tagged with "Japan"

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

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“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

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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

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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

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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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What’s in Apple’s Japanese ‘Lucky Bags’ — and how you can get one

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What’s in this year’s “lucky bags?” Photo: Macotakara

As per Japanese tradition, Apple has started handing out its Fukubukuro (a.k.a. “Lucky Bags”) to customers at its brick-and-mortar retail stores in Japan — giving some fortunate buyers massive discounts on the latest Apple products and accessories.

The bags are part of a special New Year offer, and are available in only limited quantities, with customers not knowing which they’re going to get until they’ve stumped up their ¥36,000 (around $300).

Check out the bag’s contents (as well as how you can get your hands on one, even if you don’t live in Japan!) after the jump:

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Apple’s Japanese ‘Lucky Bags’ will go on sale January 2

A ticket to get a Lucky Bag from last year. Photo: RocketNews24

A ticket to get a Lucky Bag from last year. Photo: RocketNews24

Christmas may be over here in the United States, but the season’s just starting in Japan. Apple has just announced that it will kick off its annual “Lucky Bag” celebration in its Japanese retail stores starting January 2.

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Apple to build massive R&D center in Japan

The Apple Store in Osaka Japan. Photo: Ivan Walsh

The Apple Store in Osaka Japan. Photo: Ivan Walsh/Flickr CC

Apple is planning to open a massive new research and development center in Japan, according to local media, which were told about the plans by the country’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

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