Apple's geographically limited India app accelerator hampering iOS development growth

Posted:
in iOS edited April 16
Though Apple featured the India-developed Froggipedia at its March 27 iPad event, the company may need to ramp up its outreach to foster more iPhone and iPad apps in the country, a report suggested on Monday.

Apple's India App Accelerator


"The iOS community is small in India but it is not as active as the Android community," Aakanksha Sharma, a developer with Network 18 told Killer Features. "All the meetups are organised by the community and there is hardly any way to reach Apple apart from the Accelerator."

Sharma lives in Mumbai and noted that Apple's App Accelerator -- inaugurated in March last year -- is located in Bengaluru, over 500 miles away. The facility hosts labs and presentations intended to teach everything about developing for Apple platforms, including not just iOS but macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Events are free for registered developers.

Bengaluru is a major city, yet in a sprawling country of over 1.3 billion people, other urban areas like Chennia, Delhi, and Hyderabad may be going underserved. Community meetups for topics like Swift programming are held in those places -- the Accelerator however provides an opportunity to talk to Apple engineers.

"When the center started, the engineers there just used to show presentations using videos from WWDC," one developer complained. "But over time it has improved."

Apple's bigger problem is believed to be local demand for iOS apps. While doing well in the high-cost "premium" segment, Apple's iPhone controls less than 3 percent of the Indian smartphone market as a whole. Based on app metrics, the India iPhone user base doesn't spend much on apps anyway, which may leave little financial incentive for developers.

Developers that have attended Apple's Bangalore, India App Accelerator have claimed in the past that the center gives them a leg up on competitors, with the mentoring help them adopt Apple's frameworks much quicker than they would have otherwise. Apple's facility can handle up to 500 developers a week, with sessions ranging between two and four hours each.

Attendees must be registered Apple developers, and sign into the center's scheduling page.

One developer noted that without the accelerator, it takes them around two years to integrate Apple's new frameworks. Before the training, they would wait until Apple officially launched an update after the beta cycle was complete, and only then start work on the new features.

Froggipedia, the app highlighted at Apple's "Field Trip" event is available on the App Store for $3.99.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 28,790member
    India is and will remain a largely poor country, therefore Android will remain the unfortunate phone OS of choice.
    Muntz
  • Reply 2 of 7
    This is a tricky issue.  As far as I know, Apple hasn't had to create "incubators" in any other countries and developers there find ways to learn iOS development and publish apps.  Why is India--with probably more developers per capita than most countries--in need of special care and feeding?  I expect that lots of iOS development for US companies is outsourced to India already.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    FolioFolio Posts: 152member
    India economy growing about twice as fast as China now. Not too long will outstrip in population. Amazon, google, Apple all have “hinglish” blend of Hindi and English on voice assistants. (Preferred interface for majority according to Bloomberg 13nov2017.) Hope some readers in India chime in.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Folio said:
    India economy growing about twice as fast as China now. Not too long will outstrip in population. 
    I don't think so, on the economy part. Our current government has a penchant for redefining every metric to make sure the numbers look good, never mind the actual ground reality. Just to give an example, if the survey conduced by government finds that 69% of Indians are below poverty line based on $50 per month earning, they would redefine the poverty line to $25 and say ONLY 49% of people are earning below poverty line. And they would boast it as an significant achievement of government. I remember reading about Chinese government exaggerating their growth estimates (don't have any links to back up this point though), so we would never know the real picture I guess.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Folio said:
    India economy growing about twice as fast as China now. Not too long will outstrip in population. 
    I don't think so, on the economy part. Our current government has a penchant for redefining every metric to make sure the numbers look good, never mind the actual ground reality. Just to give an example, if the survey conduced by government finds that 69% of Indians are below poverty line based on $50 per month earning, they would redefine the poverty line to $25 and say ONLY 49% of people are earning below poverty line. And they would boast it as an significant achievement of government. I remember reading about Chinese government exaggerating their growth estimates (don't have any links to back up this point though), so we would never know the real picture I guess.

    Hmm...just for the sake of factual clarity, you got your facts mixed up. In July 2014, less than two months after the current government had come to power, the former governor of RBI (India's central bank) submitted a report recommending revised figures for below poverty line which dramatically increased the number of this segment of people.

    The abnormally low percentage of people below the poverty line was actually the handiwork of the previous government. More here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-poverty-line-Rs-32-in-villages-Rs-47-in-cities/articleshow/37920441.cms

    I am not sure why you had to bring an unnecessary political dimension to this discussion.
    edited April 16 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 7
    When clicks are needed there’s always a negative story about any Apple initiative that can and will be written then retold by Web sites around the world. 😉
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Folio said:
    India economy growing about twice as fast as China now. Not too long will outstrip in population. 
    I don't think so, on the economy part. Our current government has a penchant for redefining every metric to make sure the numbers look good, never mind the actual ground reality. Just to give an example, if the survey conduced by government finds that 69% of Indians are below poverty line based on $50 per month earning, they would redefine the poverty line to $25 and say ONLY 49% of people are earning below poverty line. And they would boast it as an significant achievement of government. I remember reading about Chinese government exaggerating their growth estimates (don't have any links to back up this point though), so we would never know the real picture I guess.

    Hmm...just for the sake of factual clarity, you got your facts mixed up. In July 2014, less than two months after the current government had come to power, the former governor of RBI (India's central bank) submitted a report recommending revised figures for below poverty line which dramatically increased the number of this segment of people.

    The abnormally low percentage of people below the poverty line was actually the handiwork of the previous government. More here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-poverty-line-Rs-32-in-villages-Rs-47-in-cities/articleshow/37920441.cms

    I am not sure why you had to bring an unnecessary political dimension to this discussion.
    You are right. The BPL redefinition was done by previous government. I apologize for the factually incorrect statement. The current government has changed the methodology for calculating GDP 2 years backs and reverted back to international standard method this year. Long story short - data coming out of Indian government is NOT reliable and India's economic growth story is questionable right at this moment.
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