Munich is Apple’s largest development location in Europe and is expected to continue to grow. Chips and 5G technology are also being worked on there.
Apple intends to further expand its hardware and software development in Munich in the coming months and years. This was announced by CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday in the Bavarian capital. “Since hiring an engineer for the first time in 2015, Munich has grown into Apple’s largest development site in Europe,” Cook said. The group currently employs more than 2,000 developers there. Together with the employees of the Apple Stores, the group currently has around 4,600 employees in Germany.
Lots of skilled workers
“We’re here for the people,” Cook said. Apple has found that the universities in the Munich area are excellent. In addition, there are many qualified workers in the region. But Munich also has something in common with Silicon Valley in California, in that people like living there. It is therefore also easy to recruit employees from other countries for a job in Munich. Apple technology chief Johny Srouji said Apple had managed to bring employees from more than 40 countries to the state capital.
Cook emphasized that Apple is pursuing the plan to further expand the Munich location. “This is despite the economic background, which I know fills us all with some concern.” The economic importance of Apple in Germany goes far beyond its own employees, emphasized the group boss. Around 400,000 jobs were created in Germany alone in the area of app development for the Apple operating systems for iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Power saving technology, chips and 5G
In Munich, Apple develops in three different areas. On the one hand, the engineers are working on power-saving technologies at the chip level (Power Management Integrated Circuit) so that Apple’s mobile devices can get by with one battery charge for as long as possible. The Apple developers in Munich were also instrumental in the company’s switch from chips from third-party suppliers such as Intel to the self-designed M-series semiconductors.
Since the takeover of Intel’s mobile communications division in 2019, Munich has also been an important location for Apple for technology relating to the 5G mobile communications standard. Here, Apple still mainly uses components from third-party providers such as Qualcomm. However, experts expect that Apple will eventually switch to self-developed solutions. Cook said the Munich location was “very, very important” for Apple, also because of mobile communications technology.
Cook acknowledged that there is some risk involved in making more use of homegrown components: “These are bold bets, but we’re able to make some bold bets.” Apple continues to be very focused as a company. “But we always want to control the core technologies where they give us a competitive advantage.” Self-developed components would have to outperform the third-party products. “They have to be better. Otherwise there is no reason to make an exchange.”
The greater use of self-developed components makes some things in the supply chain more complex, but also solves some problems. “So there’s a balance, I would say, but we’ve found that balance is in our favor and, more importantly, in the user’s favor.”