Monday , November 29 2021

When the Cork plant turns 40, Apple has seen Irish growth


Apple’s vice president of European Operations said the company expects to make major investments in the coming years and continue to grow in Ireland.

Cathy Kearney was talking about Apple turning 40 in Cork.

The company has invested hundreds of millions of euros in Cork over the past decade and has doubled its staff over the past five years to more than 6,000 people.

Cork’s 40th anniversary lies behind a high-profile and long-running involvement of Apple, Ireland and the European Commission. The issues divided public opinion here. In its ruling, the European Court of First Instance found that Apple had not found itself liable for a tax bill of 13.1 million euros, the European Commission owed to Ireland.

Cork Apple production line in 2020

In an interview with RTÉ News, Cathy Kearney said she hopes the investment will continue, based on the strength of Apple’s relationship between Cork and Apple’s U.S. headquarters.

“I really don’t see that changing,” Ms. Kearney said.

“You look at the fund, you look at the level of investment, the functions and the variety of functions we have here and I think optimistically and I can look at that optimistically about the future of Apple in Ireland.”

According to him, Ireland has earned an investment based on the reputation of delivery made by Cork employees over many years.

Cork factory in 1985

“You can look around our facilities and see that we’ve spent a lot of money renovating and constantly investing in our facilities – that won’t change,” Ms. Kearney said.

“As I said, because of the strength of our team, their abilities, the absolute determination to get the job done, I think we’ve just gotten a very good reputation with teams around the world.”

Apple’s iPhone remains the company’s main revenue generator, but services like Apple Music, Apple TV + and Apple Fitness + are becoming increasingly important within the company. Apple in Cork has already started creating teams and experts in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as developing relationships.

Ms. Kearney said these areas are “evolving”.

“In terms of services, I think there will be more [growth] and that’s an area that’s going to be interesting for the future, “he said.” Will many jobs materialize? I do not know. Is it a point of interest? Yes. “

Apple also continues to manufacture on the Cork campus, 40 years ago, in November 1980, maintaining its connection to what it opened as a factory facility.

Ready to go home – Machintoshes in Cork in 1991

The iMac is manufactured in CTO or on request to be configured in Cork. This allows customers to “build” their own custom iMac for custom configurations. Apple’s Cork campus is unique within the company, as it is the only manufacturing location Apple has in the world.

Ireland’s cost base doesn’t favor manufacturing in this country compared to other low-cost economies, but Ms. Kearney said the case of continuing to manufacture at Apple in Cork is “credible,” with delivery from a customer choice perspective.

“We’re a long way from China when it comes to lead time, which makes a difference for us – for us that ability is very important to us,” he said.

Last July in the European Court of Justice, Apple and Ireland won an appeal against the ruling that the European Commission owed Apple 13.1 billion euros unpaid to Ireland.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is touring the Cork plant with Cathy Kearney earlier this year

Despite this trial, the issue of Apple’s tax bills in Ireland remains hugely controversial for many.

The court overturned the commission’s decision, saying that Ireland had given effective support to the two states to Apple. The European Commission is appealing the case.

Apple has stressed that it is the largest taxpayer in the world and says it is also “probably” the largest taxpayer in Ireland.

“They [taxes] are necessary for public services; are needed for hospitals; they are necessary for schools, ”Ms. Kearney said,“ so there has never been any doubt that a government will not pay us what we are asked to do in any country in the world. We have always paid to pay for everything the Government has said, we pay and we have done that in every country we do. ”

He said the State aid case has never called into question Apple’s commitment to Ireland.

Apple has doubled its Cork workforce in the last five years with more than 6,000 people

Ms. Kearney admitted that dealing with Covide was tough for Apple, even though it positioned itself better than many other tech companies.

In 2012, Apple set up a pilot program and took home 50 local consultants. The pilot was a huge success as the number of ‘At Home Advisors’ grew rapidly and there were over 1,000 by the time the Covid-19 pandemic hit Ireland last March.

Apple had a plan and could have made it much easier for workers working from home when the first wave of Covid-19s gained strength in this country and restrictions were imposed.

Kearney said it was difficult in a business based on creativity and a close relationship. He stressed that employee health and safety was Apple’s top priority.

“When he played, everyone would say,‘ Oh, God, what are we doing; what should we do “And so it was a very difficult time,” he said. “I think we are now in a much more stable and understandable environment.”

He said they continued to manufacture according to strict manufacturing protocols, while many who worked at Applecare were able to work from home.

People working in the new product groups took part in Apple’s “most prosperous time ever” in terms of product presentation and the biggest challenges they faced working remotely were, Ms. Kearney explained.

He said he is shocked and amazed that Apple has been able to continue to market new products in that environment.

“Hopefully, I think there’s a little more horizon now, and we hope that will boost people’s minds,” he added.

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