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Apple Inc. will establish a Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, the company said in a press release on Wednesday, coinciding with CEO Tim Cook’s first official visit to the country.
Tens of thousands of developers in India make apps for the iOS mobile operating system and the foundation for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and this initiative will provide additional, specialised support for them, Apple said in the release.
“India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” Cook said in the release. “With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we’re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.”
Cook is visiting India at a time when the country is becoming a more significant market for Apple, which saw its first worldwide fall in sales in its most recent fiscal quarter. In India, however, Apple sales rose more than 60 percent during the period. The company now sells about 2 million smartphones in India, and analysts estimate that number will more than triple in the coming few years.
Apple is looking to set up its own branded stores in India, and has also moved to set up a 150-member team in Hyderabad to work on improving its maps application.
At the Bengaluru accelerator, Apple’s team will work with developers on best practices, help them hone their skills and transform the design, quality and performance of their apps on the iOS platform.
Each week, Apple experts will lead briefings and provide one-on-one app reviews for developers. The facility will also provide support and guidance on Swift, Apple’s programming language created to build apps for iOS, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in India’s developer community and a tremendous opportunity to gain world-class design and development expertise,” Deepinder Goyal, CEO of food-ordering and restaurant booking app maker Zomato, said in the release. “Apple’s support will help drive growth and accelerate progress among the country’s vast talent pool.”
“We have worked closely with Apple to transform the Snapdeal app and offer our users the best possible experience,” Kunal Bahl, co-founder of online marketplace Snapdeal, added in the press release. “Apple’s expert guidance on the interface and user experience has helped us build an app that our consumers love. We are thrilled Apple will have a local presence which will amplify our efforts to develop more high-quality apps for our digital commerce ecosystem.”
“Apple’s investment in Bengaluru through its iOS Development Accelerator will have far-reaching effects for the area’s rapidly growing and highly talented developer community,” R Chandrashekhar, president of Nasscom, India’s largest tech lobby, said in the release. “The skills and training they gain through this effort will significantly improve their app design and help them reach a broader market. Initiatives like these move the country forward in our efforts to advance a growth-led and sustainable technology sector.”
The iOS App Design and Development Accelerator is expected to open in early 2017.