Updated: Aug 21, 2021
During Apple’s four-decade stay in Singapore, the tech giant linked arms with the local government and organisations to provide jobs as well as promote economic development, programming education and environmental sustainability to Singaporeans.
When Apple first established itself in the country in 1981, the nation was just 16 years old. Back then, the company only had one office and 72 employees in Singapore, all of which were dedicated to manufacturing the Apple II. Now, Singapore is a mecca for innovation, with Apple setting up a base there for its business in the Asia Pacific.
“We’re thrilled to be celebrating this important milestone with our teams in Singapore, and the customers and communities they serve with creativity and passion,” gushed Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and People.
Among one of the achievements Apple contributed to is Singapore’s budding reputation as a hotspot for app development. Butter Royale, a popular game produced by Mighty Bear, has become a fixture in the global top 20 Apple Arcade games. The overwhelming success the app received made Mighty Bear one of Singapore’s revered independent developers.
Last year, Apple immersed itself into health tech in Singapore as it partnered with the nation’s healthcare system to unveil the app Lumihealth, which lets users track their healthy habits with their Apple Watch and iPhone. With the app, they can set personal reminders, gain access to programmes, coaching and other incentives that can keep them fit.
Singapore’s Health Promotion Board played a big role in supporting the initiative as it motivated thousands of Singaporeans to further prioritise their health amid the pandemic.
In 2018, Apple forged alliances with local schools to accomplish its Swift Accelerator programme, helping students familiarise themselves with the Swift programming language.
After the Singaporean administration made it compulsory for upper primary students to take up a minimum of 10 hours of coding, the educational project was implemented in the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Pathlight School — an institution that teaches children with autism.
In 2015, the Silicon Valley-based firm also collaborated with the Singaporean government and energy company Sunseap to produce 100% renewable energy to power Apple’s four sites and three retail locations. By using solar panels adorned on 800+ rooftops that generated 32 megawatts of solar energy, Apple became the first company in the nation to be fully run by renewable energy.
“Apple was one of the first major companies in Singapore to partner with Sunseap in our quest to get businesses to tap solar energy for a sustainable future. We are ever grateful to Apple for showing the way forward — their shining example helped speed up adoption across the country and raised awareness in the region of the urgency of mitigating climate change with renewable energy sources,” said Sunseap’s co-founder and CEO Frank Phuan.
Mighty Bear co-founder and CEO believes that the Singapore tech scene has so much room to grow and that the country’s progress in that sector was greatly impacted by Apple.
“I see Singapore becoming a powerhouse because of the ecosystem it has created. Today’s young talents will become tomorrow’s experienced developers, thanks in part to support from pioneers like Apple,” said Davis.
Written by Sophia Lopez