Just under a year after CEO Tim Cook announced it, Apple on Friday launched its App Accelerator at Yelahanka in Bengaluru.
Just under a year after CEO Tim Cook announced it, Apple on Friday launched its App Accelerator at Yelahanka in Bengaluru. The accelerator, the first from Apple anywhere in the world, will handhold Indian developers when it comes to skills and tools and onboard them on best practices. India is already an important developer location for the company with tens of thousands of developers coding for iOS.
Here to launch App Accelerator Bengaluru and also meet top Indian developers, Philip Schiller, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, told indianexpress.com there are lots of reasons for doing something like this in India. “One, there is an incredible developer base here with incredible software talent and it is growing stronger and stronger for iOS development. We have around half a million registered developers here and growing dramatically and there is probably about three-quarters of a million involved in the app economy with other related jobs. It is a large base, but out of an even larger software community, so it can grow larger still. Then, India is an exciting global market for Apple with incredible growth potential.”
The impact of developers, he said, will help with the impact of Apple products in India and the rest of the world. “Developers here can make software that everyone around the world is interested in.” Visibly impressed by the “great entrepreneurial spirit” he has seen here along with the innovation and creativity, he said Apple will be able to bring its expertise in under interface design and ease of use to this community.
At the accelerator, Apple experts will lead weekly briefings and offer one-on-one app reviews. Also on offer will be guidance on Swift, Apple’s programming language created to build apps for iOS, Apple TV and Apple Watch. Schiller, who is on his first visit to India, said they have already seen some incredible developers at the App Accelerator Bengaluru like Practo and Reliance Games create innovative apps to meet customers’ needs in India and around the world. He said Apple will continue to encourage developers create apps for India as well as help them reach a larger market around the world, “and that is the benefit of our app store model”. “I don’t think one has to happen without the other,” he said.
Open to iOS developers in India through a sign-up process, the facility will help the community refine skills for developing iOS apps and transform their quality and performance. It will feature Apple Technology Evangelists who will provide specialised briefings for over 500 developers every week with detailed app analysis feedback. Apple is expected to start local assembly of devices in India soon, but Schiller, who said he is not involved with the manufacturing plans for India, said there was a very competent team working with the government to get the best product to users in India. “The team we are building in India is extremely talented and we are excited to grow it. I think this is an amazing marketplace and we have a lot to learn from it and our decision to increase invest in this market is a great thing to be doing.”
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Schiller suggested that a different pricing strategy for India was unlikely as “we don’t say let’s try and make it more affordable in this market in comparison to another”. Apple, he said, has a strategy of pricing the products globally in a fair price around the world. Schiller said that like their products, Apple’s marketing strategy also tries to be as consistent as possible worldwide. “But there will also be things we will do that are unique to this market as we learn from customers and developers that there is an opportunity to do something special here. The app accelerator is exactly that.”