Mumbai, May 18 (IANS) Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday announced that the tech giant would establish a Design and Development Accelerator facility in Bengaluru, the home of India’s startup scene.
“India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” said Cook, who is on an India visit.
“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,” he said in a statement.
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 powerful and intuitive programming language created to build apps for iOS, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Bengaluru is now home to more technology startups than any other part of India.
Over one million people in the city work in the tech sector, and over 40 percent of graduates from local universities specialize in engineering or information technology.
The iOS App Design and Development Accelerator is expected to open in early 2017.
The facility will commence operations on one lakh square feet leased space in WaveRock, a building owned by real estate giant Tishman Speyer at Nanakramguda.
However, it was not confirmed if Cook will be present to inaugurate the company’s first development centre in India.
The Cupertino-based firm plans to expand the facility to 2.5 lakh square feet by next year. It will have 2,500 employees, sources said.
The company, which has taken the space on lease at WaveRock, is also planning to build its own campus.
Cook’s visit to India comes at a time when the US technology giant is hit by slower growth in global sales of its flagship products — iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Zomato and Snapdeal along with NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar extended their support for the new facility.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in India’s developer community and a tremendous opportunity to gain world-class design and development expertise,” said Deepinder Goyal, CEO Zomato, in a statement.
“Apple’s support will help drive growth and accelerate progress among the country’s vast talent pool,” he added.
“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,” said Kunal Bahl, CEO Snapdeal, in a statement.
“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,” said Chandrashekhar in a statement.
The Apple CEO is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. He had met Modi at a Silicon Valley event in the US last September, where they discussed manufacturing plans under Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
The Apple CEO flew to the country from China, where Apple announced a $1 billion investment in the local ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing.
“India is incredibly exciting. The population of India is incredibly young. Almost half the people in India are below 25. And so I see the demographics there also being incredibly great for a consumer brand and for people that really want the best products,” Cook had said earlier this year.
Cook, who joined Apple in March 1998, was made chief executive of the company, succeeding Steve Jobs, on August 24, 2011.
Hit by slower growth in the sale of its flagship products iPhone, iPad and Mac globally, Apple’s revenue dropped for the first time since 2003 as the tech giant released earning reports for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 in March.
According to reports, the company is looking for new growth markets like India after its sales declined.