Apple’s building a start-up accelerator in India

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The next iPhone will have a huge battery.
Apple plans to help India develop iOS apps.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook will have a lot to talk about with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi when Cook touches down in the country later this week.

The iPhone-maker is ready to make a big push into India, and according to a new report, that will include investing in India’s start-up scene with an incubator focused on helping companies in the country that build iOS apps.

Apple hasn’t revealed any official plans for Cook’s visit yet, but FactorDaily reports that the company will “unveil a start-up accelerator in India, the first such initiative by the company.”

Apple is also expected to announce its first three retail stores in India, set to be built in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. The 10,000 square-feet stores will reportedly be located at prime high street locations in the metro areas and will require a $3 million to $5 million investment each.

A team of 40 Apple executives have been working out of Gurugram in India for months. The group is comprised mostly of expatriates, and reports directly to Cupertino on the progress of the retail operation development and the startup accelerator.

Cook told investors during the company’s last earnings call that he believes India could be the next China in just a few years, as far as iPhone sales in emerging markets go. Apple experienced massive growth in India last quarter, but it has had to work with the government to skirt the country’s local sourcing laws.