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Apple has announced that it’s creating its first app development accelerator in Asia, as the Cupertino company seeks to woo India’s engineering community with a dedicated space in which to learn design best-practices for Apple’s mobile operating system.

Expected to open in Bengaluru in early 2017, the iOS App Design and Development Accelerator will “support engineering talent and accelerate growth in India’s iOS developer community,” according to a press release.

India has emerged as a key battleground for the big U.S. tech companies as both Google and Facebook look to tap the burgeoning online population — with varying degrees of success — even though much of the country’s 1.3 billion inhabitants remain offline. And earlier this year, Apple confirmed plans to open a new development hub in Hyderabad, India that’s expected to eventually house around 4,500 people.

Apple’s new app accelerator will essentially serve to help developers improve their design and development skills for iOS and will include one-on-one app reviews for developers, as well as support for Apple’s programming language, Swift.


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“India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “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.”

Bengaluru is a major startup hub in India — an estimated one million people work in the city’s technology industry, while more than 40 percent of university graduates in the area specialize in IT or engineering, according to Apple.

This isn’t the first such center Apple has unveiled — earlier this year, it announced its first iOS App Development Center in Europe, to be located “at a partner institution” in Naples, Italy. The company also has a similar hub in Brazil.

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