Apple ramps up efforts to promote coding to kids in India

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iPhone 6s made in India
Apple has been focusing increasingly on the Indian market.
Photo: Apple

Apple is ramping up its efforts to promote coding in India, one of its biggest untapped markets.

According to a new report, Apple is actively nurturing young talented coders in schools and colleges across India. These Apple Distinguished Schools teach curriculums based around Swift app development.

The Economic Times report quotes various young developers, most of them in their teens.

“After I got admission in the Macro Vision Academy (Apple Distinguished School) in Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh for Grade 11, I continued my iOS app development,” one developer, Jay Firke, said. “I am currently working on an e-portfolio app wherein class teachers can fill the students’ report about his or her skills and educational topics. The app currently works on my school Wi-Fi.”

Firke is currently working on an AR game, made using ARKit. Firke will be headed to WWDC as one of 16 students from India that Apple is helping to attend the event. The article notes that India, “has one of the most vibrant and exciting iOS developer communities.” It is home to thousands of developers who have already created nearly 100,000 apps for the App Store.

Apple’s growth in India

Apple promoting coding literacy to young people is not exclusive to India. It is something that Apple, particularly under the leadership of Tim Cook, has promoted worldwide. However, India has been a growing focus of Apple’s in recent times.

In 2017, Apple opened a new App Accelerator center in Bengaluru, India. It has also been promoting new iPhones “Made in India” to appeal to local customers. Finally, it is renewing efforts to open the first official Apple Store flagship in India.

It’s no mystery why this would be the case. India has a population of more than 1.3 billion people. A growing number of these are smartphone users. But despite upward of 140 million smartphones being sold in in India last year, just 1.7 million of them were iPhones. Apple has struggled to grow its market in India, which represents a massive potential market if Apple can reach it.

Unfortunately, devices like the iPhone remain way too expensive for most local consumers. But if Apple can promote the development of locally created apps — particularly if they’re iOS exclusive — that could be great news for future growth.

Will it work as planned? We’ll have to wait and see. However you slice it, though, it’s great to see Apple focus on new markets which can benefit from its expertise.