We reported yesterday that Tim Cook was scheduled to visit India this week. The Apple CEO has now touched down in the financial capital of Mumbai today amidst big news for the company.
Apple has announced that it will open what it’s calling a Design and Development Accelerator, to assist developers working on its various platforms (Mac OS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS) in Bangalore, the country’s IT hub, by early 2017.
The company described its forthcoming initiative in a press release:
Apple’s team will work to inspire and instruct developers on best practices, help them hone their skills and transform the design, quality and performance of their apps on the iOS platform.
Cook said, “India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world. With the opening of this new facility in Bangalore, we’re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.”
Apple added that it will host weekly briefings by its in-house, along with one-on-one app reviews for developers. Its facility will also provide support and guidance on the Swift programming language to assist coders working on apps for iOS, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
That should spell good news for local developers in the city who are looking to improve their skills and the quality of their products.
However, Apple’s use of the term ‘accelerator’ in this case might be a bit of a stretch. The word is typically used in the context of startups, to describe a program which, according to Paul Bricault of LA-based Amplify, “takes single-digit chunks of equity in externally developed ideas in return for small amounts of capital and mentorship.”
From the release, it appears that Apple’s initiative is more of a development facilitator and support system for iOS programmers and designers. There’s no mention of Apple investing directly in Indian startups or any sort of trade in equity for training.
We’ve contacted Apple for clarification and will update this post if there’s a response.