Apple opens developer center in world’s fourth most populous country

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Jakarta developer Center
Apple's new Jakarta developer center is its first in Indonesia.
Photo: Apple

Apple has opened its first developer academy on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia.

The move is to comply with new government regulation regarding local content requirements. Laws state that 30 percent of content for 4G devices sold in Indonesia must be produced locally. While that’s somewhat difficult to work out with a multinational company like Apple, the laws note that this percentage can cover manufacturing, software, and “innovation.”

Opening the developer center was a trade on Apple’s part for permission to sell its devices in Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s largest smartphone market. It is also the world’s fourth most populous country — after China, India and the U.S. Previously Apple’s products were absent from the country for more than one year.  The agreement was made back in early 2017.

Growing its developer community

The new Indonesian academy follows similar Apple Developer Academies in Italy and Brazil. The company also has an app accelerator in India. Apple reportedly originally considered building an R&D center in Indonesia, but decided instead to build an innovation center. The goal is to train local developers to build apps for iOS. Apple’s total investment is around $44 million, running through 2019.

“There are various types of R&D, such as for engineering and manufacturing. Instead of doing that, they are focusing on human capital and app development,” Indonesia’s Communications and Information Minister said this week.

The new center is being run in collaboration with Binus University. Apple-trained instructors have previously taught Binus students in programming languages Objective-C and Swift. Examples of apps developed so far include a prototype called Toll X, which helps people identify toll fares. Another app makes it easier to access emergency services.

“We are thrilled to be opening the Apple Developer Academy in Jakarta to help provide the next generation of developers the skills they need to develop iOS apps and join the fast-growing app economy,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

The Indonesian government reportedly hopes that Apple can help create around 200 new local developers each year in Indonesia. In the past two years, Apple’s developer presence in the country has grown by more than 50 percent.

Source: Jakarta Post