Japan Stories June 4, 2015

Apple’s Japanese bond sale will raise more than expected, at $2B

Apple’s first ever Japanese bond sale will raise more than had been previously estimated. An SEC filing reveals that the sale will raise ¥250B ($2B), more than the ¥200 billion ($1.6B) which had been reported earlier.

Apple is selling the bonds in Japanese yen due to the extremely low interest rates in the country, with Apple offering a rate of just 0.35%, paid twice a year in June and December. Goldman Sachs, one of the two underwriters of the bond issue, said that the market would welcome the offering.

“It’s Apple’s first time issuing in yen. Their ratings, credit fundamentals and familiarity within the Japanese market are very high,” said a Goldman Sachs banker. “The outcome proves how much the market welcomed seeing this issuer come up.”

Although Apple has huge cash reserves, the majority of this is held overseas and cannot be repatriated back to the U.S. without large tax liabilities. It is cheaper for the company to borrow money to fund its stock buyback program and to fund dividend payments. Apple announced in April that it will spend $200B by the end of March 2017 on a mix of share repurchases and dividend payments.

Photo: randomwire.com

Japan Stories June 1, 2015

Jay Blahnik, one of the lead directors behind the health and fitness functionality in iOS 8 and the Apple Watch, is continuing to host events at Apple Stores. At the end of April, Blahnik held an interview with Christy Turlington Burns at an Apple Store in the United Kingdom, and now Blahnik is making his way to Australia and Asia. Late last week, Blahnik held a Q/A session in Australia with personal trainer Michelle Bridges. Here are videos of Blahnik discussing the importance of walking along with other health tips with Bridges:

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Japan Stories May 9, 2015

The recently released 12-inch MacBook will be available for purchase at all Apple Stores globally beginning the week of May 25th, according to a memo from Apple to its retail staff issued earlier today. Because of supply constraints, not unlike those for the also recently-launched Apple Watch, sales of the new MacBook have been mostly restricted to Apple’s Online Store…

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Japan Stories March 25, 2015

This render provides our first look at Apple’s plan to build a sizeable new R&D center in Japan. We first heard that Apple would be building a facility “on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centers in Asia” from the Japanese Prime Minister late last year.

Japanese news site NHK reports that the center will be built on the outskirts of Yokohama, the second biggest city in Japan after nearby Tokyo. The city’s mayor announced in a news conference that Apple had purchased the remains of a Panasonic factory on the site, and would be building a 25,000 square meter facility over four floors. The scale of the building would suggest that it could accommodate around several hundred employees, though Apple may of course be allowing for future expansion. expand full story

Japan Stories March 23, 2015

Following the release of the MobileFirst suite of iOS enterprise apps last year, the result of a new partnership between Apple and IBM, today the companies are rolling out the apps to the Japanese market.

The companies haven’t made an official announcement yet, but sources close to the situation say seven apps are arriving for Japanese customers today. expand full story

Japan Stories March 15, 2015

At the Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Apple is building a store specifically for the Apple Watch on the ground floor. Macotakara thinks it might be a permanent fixture because it is listed in the mall directory below.

Japan is one of the 9 countries where the Apple Watch will launch on April 24th. Earlier this week we saw the size of the Apple Watch Store at Galleries Lafayette in Paris and at London Selfridges. Apple also began advertising for its Apple Watch in its traditional stores this week.

This will take some getting used to. Imagine a world where there is an Apple Store on one side of the mall and an Apple Watch store on the other like so many Starbucks.  expand full story

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