Apple confirmed it’s putting $1 billion into the SoftBank fund that Donald Trump loves. Apple and SoftBank have business ties stretching back nearly a decade. In 2008, the companies struck a deal to make SoftBank the exclusive iPhone seller in Japan. The partnership drove record sales, helping make SoftBank Japan’s third-largest cellular carrier by 2011.
SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son met with President Elect Donald Trump at the presidential transition team offices, located in Trump Tower in New York City, to discuss the Vision Fund. At the time, Son made a verbal agreement with the President-elect to invest $50 billion into U.S. businesses.
Apple should benefit from President-elect Donald Trump’s planned corporate tax cuts. But Trump has said he wants Apple to build iPhones in the U.S., where the costs would be much higher.
“Apple is planning to invest $1 billion in SoftBank’s Vision Fund,” Apple said in a statement on Wednesday. “We’ve worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple.”
Joining SoftBank’s investment fund could help Apple as it looks to integrate new technologies into its devices or ensure its smartphones are compatible with connected products such as thermostats.
“Apple doesn’t want to sell a lot of the end nodes in the Internet of Things, but it does need to defend its core, smartphone business,” said Roger Kay, a market analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates.
This move could help the company get some goodwill from Trump, who has criticized the company for its privacy stance and called on the company to start making iPhones in the U.S., something that is unlikely to happen. Apple has more than $237.6 billion in cash on hand, according to its annual report. More than 90% of that money, $216 billion, is held abroad because Apple would have to pay additional tax to bring it to the U.S.