uImpressed by the war and economic worries, Apple in Munich is about to complete its European center for chip design. In some rooms on the upper floors, technicians are already working and researching Apple chips for Mac computers and iPhone mobile phones, tablets and watches. Apple is investing more than a billion dollars and is brimming with confidence: “There are a lot of things that have gone in the wrong direction in the world recently. But there is also a lot to look forward to,” says the CEO Tim Cook in an interview in Munich and even compares the city to Silicon Valley.
Because a visit to Apple in Munich in times of crisis is like looking into another economic world, beyond energy and inflation worries. The electronics group, which can get almost any price from its customers, therefore remains true to all of its plans and, given the long-term development cycles in the industry, thinks in terms of time periods that go beyond attacks on pipelines and armed conflicts in one part of the world.
“We’re here to celebrate our continued expansion,” Cook said after saying just that on the previous night Oktoberfest had done. The first engineer was hired here at the end of 2015, and now more than 2,000 people are employed in development alone in Germany.
“We’re still hiring”
“And we’re still hiring,” Cook announced. The development work in Munich has already had a major impact on the entire company: “We are here because of the people. The German universities and the knowledge of the colleagues are outstanding. People just love living here.”
In the past, Cook has often sung the praises of the Germans, who like to despair of themselves, but who have nevertheless created a highly attractive environment for investments for Apple – and this despite all the economic challenges, as Cook emphasizes.
This is how Apple’s largest research and development branch in Europe came into being on Karlstrasse in downtown Munich, not far from the main train station and Bayerischer Rundfunk. The research center occupies an area of 30,000 square meters on the site of a former car dealer.
The finest materials are used, soft leather on the benches, wood on the floor, even the toilet doors follow the company’s purist design line. That of the company co-founder Steve Jobs, Cook’s predecessor, Apple follows the specified pursuit of perfection to this day. What you see here is structural change that you can touch in terms of the early use of the property.
4600 employees in Germany
The research center is operated by Apple in addition to a retail organization that now has 16 branches throughout Germany. According to Cook, a total of 4,600 employees work for his company in Germany, and “a total of 400,000 people in Germany alone directly in our ecosystem, for example by programming apps”.