Apple Exploring R&D Options Inside China
2012 was a banner year for iDevice sales inside of China, likely a major reason for Tim Cook's recent return to the nation. Without question, Apple is focused on making the Chinese market a friendly environment in which Apple's retail presence can thrive.
On Tuesday, new information was learned about Apple's plans for China in 2013. And they may involve more than just the construction of new retail stores.
Sources in communication with Tencent Tech - the technology news section of Tencent, which is "a major Chinese web portal" - revealed that during a meeting with Beijing's acting mayor Wang Anshun on January 8, Tim Cook "said the company plans to set up an R&D center in Beijing."
According to the same source, Apple will relocate an undetermined number of its servers for App Store and iTunes to China. Such a move will be necessary to improve the downloading speed for users inside of China. Chatter is also intensifying that Apple could establish its data center in the Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province or Inner Mongolia.
Although we've reported in the past that Apple has explored options for expanding its global R&D footprint (like in Israel and Russia), this is the first time sources have suggested that such efforts on the part of Apple may take place in China.