Apple celebrated its 40th anniversary in Singapore today, where it first established offices in 1981.
Apple’s Asia-Pacific operations are headquartered in Singapore. The tech giant claims that the iOS app economy employs over 3500 people in Singapore and supports another 55,000 employment in the country. Tim Cook marked the occasion with a new radio interview, in which he talks about his first Mac experience.
Tim Cook (virtually) spoke with Mediacorp Class 95, a local radio station. Cook recalls visiting Singapore as one of his first assignments after joining Apple in 1998 to validate the production line for the original transparent iMac, which was made there.
Tim Cook spoke with the local radio station about what he called “one of the best places in the world” as Apple celebrated four decades of business and sales in Singapore.
“We’re honoured and humbled to be part of the Singaporean journey,” Cook said on Class 95 Radio. “Singapore is really like a second home for us. You know we have offices we have retail stores including the one that we just opened in Marina Bay Sands.”
“Last year, I was able to go through it when I was visiting but it was all taped up at the time, and I cannot wait to go back when it’s open,” Cook added. “We we’ve always been a company that focused on the future but it is, it does feel good to sort of sit back and think about the last 40. But more importantly, we’re so excited about the next 40.”
In a news release commemorating Apple’s four decades in Singapore, the company noted that the country was only 16 years old when it began in 1981.
Now Singapore is Apple’s base for all of its Asia Pacific operations and, Apple describes it as “a globally recognized center of innovation and expertise.”
Cook admits in the interview that his first Apple product was the Apple II, which he used for his senior project at Auburn. “One of our local team members is Grace Tan, and her mother worked at Apple,” he said. “Grace had an Apple II at home, and she would teach her classmates, how to use computers at school. And now she leads Apple’s entire people team in Singapore.”
The company is investing in the Singapore app market in addition to manufacturing. It has developed an accelerated program to assist kids in learning Swift as part of their schoolwork. Since then, the Singapore government has mandated that primary school kids receive at least 10 hours of coding instruction.
Butter Royale, one of the most popular Apple Arcade games, was created by a Singaporean team, according to the company.
Singapore also has one of Apple’s most visually attractive retail outlets. The Apple Marina Bay Sands, which debuted in September, floats on the water (pictured above).
Apple is also collaborating with the government of Singapore on renewable energy projects. The company teamed up with Sunseap, a local energy firm, to install solar panels on more than 800 buildings, creating 32 megawatts of solar energy and helping to power Apple’s local retail locations with 100% sustainable energy.