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.
Photo: Apple

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.

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


Apple's iPad business may not turn around any time soon. 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.

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.

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.”