Apple Eyes India Expansion With iOS Development Center

Apple is turning its attention to India with a new initiative intended to spur iOS development there.

The Design and Development Accelerator is expected to open early next year in Bengaluru—the Silicon Valley of India—which has more than 1 million people working in the tech sector.

"India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world," according to Apple chief Tim Cook, who traveled to India to announce the news. "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."

Weekly briefings and one-on-one app reviews with Apple experts will be supplemented with guidance on its Swift programming language used 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," said Deepinder Goyal, CEO of restaurant search site Zomato.

"Apple's investment in Bengaluru…will have far-reaching effects for the area's rapidly growing and highly talented developer community," added R Chandrashekhar, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). "Initiatives like these move the country forward in our efforts to advance a growth-led and sustainable technology sector."

The news comes just three weeks after Apple posted its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, and first revenue drop in more than a decade. Cook then hit the road to court important international markets, like China, where Cupertino just invested $1 billion in Uber rival Didi Chuxing.

Reports indicate, meanwhile, that Apple will open three of its popular retail stores in India by the end of 2017.

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