Apple will continue to expand the reach of its research and development centers around the world with a new location in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, sometime in 2017. The news comes from Indonesian Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara, who mentioned that the project's preparation has now progressed to "the final stage" (via Tempo).
Additionally, the Minister added that Apple plans to find the location for the R&D center by the end of 2016, putting the company on the path of completing construction and hiring employees by the end of 2017. "Several options" for the focus of the Jakarta-based R&D center have been proposed, but none are yet finalized.
"Just wait. [The preparation of the project development] is in the final stage. The Industry Ministry and the Communication and Informatics Ministry are finalizing the plan," [Rudiantara] said. "It's more important. By late December, they will commence the execution for the location. So, in 2017, they will start building structures and recruiting employees," he added.
Rudiantara said that he knows the monetary value of Apple's investment in the Jakarta R&D center, but did not divulge the number to the press. In addition to the proposed site in Jakarta, Apple has set up similar R&D centers in China, Japan, Israel, and the UK, and is said to be planning similar facilities in Canada, India, and Vietnam to take advantage of local resources.
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This is a strategic move that is long overdue. Indonesia is enforcing its regulation where a 4G handset sold in the country must have a certain percentage of local involvement (can be hardware or software).
Samsung already made an assembly plant in Indonesia few years ago as a respond to the regulation, assembling the S and Note series in the country. As a result, Samsung can sell their Galaxy lineup in full force. Meanwhile, Apple has not even launched the 6S/SE in Indonesia, and LTE iPads are not available either. Sure, there are gray market imports available, but the government is enforcing its high import duties in the country's ports.
Even the Chinese companies are feeling the pain. Newer Xiaomi handsets with global ROM would disable LTE when an Indonesian SIM is inserted (I believe Xiaomi managed to get an agreement to overcome this though).
Nowadays there is no pro machine. Well let me reword this. There is no machine for the pros today. The MacBook Pro is basically a MacBook Deluxe. Pros need upgradability. Pros need ports. They don't care if the machine is 50 grams lighter or 3 mm thinner.
Apple has lost its focus. This sounds like bitching but this is what is going on. Just look at the iPad lineup. Or the abandoned Mac Pros, Airport devices and monitors. Apple is run by toner heads.
The watch bands are hilarious... bondage from the stone age... upgraded to plastic - help!