Apple CEO Tim Cook in a December trip to Japan visited Seiko Advance, one of Apple’s suppliers in the country, and in an interview with Nikkei that was published today, he explained that Seiko Advance is the reason why the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are available in Midnight Green.
Seiko Advance is a company that creates ink for devices like the iPhone. Cook was shown a vat of the Midnight Green dye when he visited Seiko Advance, and said that it was “only made by high-quality control and craftsmanship.”
Creating green ink typically involves using pollutants like halogens, but according to Seiko Advance sales manager Yukinori Kabe, the company was able to develop a cleaner way to create green with high color accuracy and durability. Seiko Advance is also the only ink producer with a cleanroom in the factory, allowing temperature and humidity to be controlled for consistent quality.
The environmental friendliness of Seiko Advance’s green ink appealed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, leading Apple to add the color to its 2019 iPhone lineup. Seiko Advance is also the sole supplier for the Gold, Silver, and Space Gray inks used for the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
For the lower-priced iPhone 11, which comes in multiple bright colors, Apple uses several suppliers.
Cook in his tweet about Seiko Advance said the company brings the colors of the iPhone 11 Pro to life thanks to “their craftsmanship and attention to detail.” Apple has worked with Seiko Advance for iPhone inks since 2011, when Cook invited various ink makers to visit Apple to explain their products.
Kabe visited Apple’s campus in Cupertino, met Cook for the first time, and found that at first, Seiko Advance wasn’t able to meet Apple’s high quality standards. Four years later, after trial and error, Seiko Advance supplied black ink for the iPhone, leading to a partnership that now accounts for 40 percent of Seiko Advance’s sales.
According to Cook, Apple and Seiko Advance have “grown together” and “push each other to innovate more.”