Beijing time on December 30, does not support 5G, nor foldable screen, this is Apple this year released the iPhone 11 series of phones. However, it sold well, exceeding many people’s expectations. In addition to the much-lauded three-camera camera, the new color scheme – Dark Night Green – is also a big hit for the iPhone 11. On September 13this year, the iPhone 11 series went on sale, surprisingly hot.
Seiko inks dark night green for iPhone 11 Pro
京东公布的数据显示，iPhone 11系列手机预售量同比去年增长480%，首单1秒内成交，iPhone 11 Pro系列5分钟告罄，最受欢迎的单品为iPhone 11 Pro暗夜绿色。
Even Guo Mingyu, a well-known analyst who is less bullish on the iPhone 11, reported better-than-expected pre-orders for the first weekend and increased shipments of the iPhone 11 series to 70-75 million units in 2019. He said demand for new colour schemes was clearly strong. The iPhone 11 Pro’s dark night green, iPhone 11 green and purple, all take about 2 to 3 weeks or more to ship, and the average other colors take less than 10 days.
Official figures may be more convincing. Apple shipped 10m iPhones in China in September and October, up 6 per cent on a year earlier, according to data released by the China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s Telecommunications Research Institute, proving once again that the iPhone 11 is selling better in China than its predecessor.
The small company behind the dark night green
Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook embarked on an Asian tour, visiting countries such as Singapore, Japan and Thailand. During his three-day trip to Japan, Cook visited a company that many had never heard of before, Seiko Advance, and tweeted about it.
In an interview with the Nikkei Asia Review, Mr Cook said Apple was able to release the iPhone 11 Pro, which features a new dark night green color, and that Seiko ink “does a great job”. “Only high-quality control and process can be done. Cook said.
Seiko Ink is an ink manufacturer, founded in 1950, was also a paint supplier. Its story is a good illustration of how an established company adapts to the changes of the new era, and it also shows the sustainability of Japan’s technological prowess after the decline of some of the country’s best-known companies.
Cook’s tweet to visit Seiko Ink Factory
Generally speaking, the production of green ink will involve halogen and other pollutants. However, Yukinori Kabe, Seiko Ink Sales Manager, says the company has developed a cleaner process that provides high color accuracy and durability. The technology has attracted environmentally conscious Cook, who also praised Seiko Ink’s plan to switch to renewable solar and wind energy by 2020.
Dark Night Green isn’t the only color Seiko ink offers for the iPhone 11 Pro, which is also a color supplier for the gold, dark-space gray and silver version of the iPhone 11 Pro. “We are the exclusive color supplier of the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Yukinori Kabe said.
By contrast, the low-cost version of the iPhone 11 has multiple color vendors. Cook said that Seiko ink in ink production on the “world’s first.”
“Just look at the technology is excellent, no matter the size of the company”
Compared with Apple, Seiko ink is a small witch. Seiko inkhas only 160 employees and generates billions of yen, or tens of millions of dollars, in annual revenue. Apple’s revenue for the latest fiscal year was $260.2 billion.
While Cook lamented Seiko ink technology, Seiko Ink’s management seemed to be impressed by Cook’s attitude. “Cook showed us his attitude to dealing with companies with great technology,” says Yukinori Kabe. “No matter how small your company is, apple is your customer as long as you have good technology.” “
The partnership began in 2011, a watershed in Apple’s history. Apple legend Steve Jobs retired from cancer and died in October. Cook took Jobs’ baton and became Apple’s CEO. Mr. Cook, who teamed up with Apple in 1998, attracted Jobs to the supply chain management capabilities of PC maker Compaq.
In the same year, a sales representative for Seiko Ink received an email from Apple. Apple wants Seiko ink and other ink manufacturers to send representatives to the United States to showcase their products.
Toshio Hiraguri, who is now president of Seiko Inks, sent Yukinori Kabe to introduce the company’s technology to Apple executives in charge of the supply chain. At the time, Yukinori Kabe did not know Cook, and the two met for the first time in December.
In fact, Seiko ink can also be said to have been prepared for this for decades. It already produces inks for industrial products, including electrical appliances and automobiles. As Japan’s economy grew rapidly in the decades after World War II, Seiko ink business expanded.
In 1972, Seiko Ink formed a technical alliance with an American ink manufacturer, which mastered advanced screen printing technology and was able to print on a wide variety of materials. This cooperation has helped Seiko ink to strengthen the independent screen printing technology, to this day it is still the core of Seiko ink professional technology.
Apple is demanding: hundreds of standards need to be met
Even so, yukinori Kabe recalls a “very different world” when he recalls his visit to Apple. He said suppliers were expected to meet hundreds of standards at the time. “At that time, we found that we couldn’t meet Apple’s high standards. He said.
After four years of trial and error, Seiko ink is finally starting to supply the iPhone with black ink. Apple orders now account for 40% of Seiko ink revenue. At the same time, Seiko ink also to Samsung Electronics and other major global smart machine manufacturers to supply ink. Its ink is mainly used for high-end mobile phones. Seiko ink other business is for electrical appliances, signs, vending machines supply ink. Although Seiko ink would not disclose specific figures, it said sales were growing and that becoming an Apple supplier was a major boost to the company’s business.
Mr Cook said Apple and Seiko Ink had been working together for years and were “growing together”. “We enjoy the days of working together, and we drive further innovation. He said.
Seiko ink managers say the company has been receiving visits from other potential customers since Cook’s visit. For Seiko ink, the challenge for the company is to continue to drive this momentum. “We maintain strict quality control. Mr Ping said he had succeeded his father as president in November.
Clean room in Seiko ink factory
There is a clean room in the factory of Seiko ink. They are the only ink company in the world with clean rooms, says Mr Ping. This gives Seiko inks a competitive advantage because temperature and humidity control control sits in a stable state, helping to maintain consistent quality. Cook singled out the cleanliness of Seiko ink factories and careful control of the environment.
Skilled workers are just as important. Seiko Ink now has 30 experts who specialize in color mixing. They make 150 colors a day and check them one by one.
Mr Ping stressed that the company had never lost money and that its shareholder equity ratio of more than 80 per cent showed it was dependent on debt. But he saw the threat of China’s new rivals, who he himself had worked in China for several years.
“Chinese companies are catching up fast, ” Mr Ping said. ” We need to keep quality to win. “