Apple’s app accelerator in Bengaluru, India has become a vital resource for developers looking to stand out in a crowded field, and could serve as the tech giant’s foothold into a burgeoning smartphone market.

The app accelerator allows local app developers to improve their software, learn new skills, and get mentoring from Apple. Some participants believe that the accelerator gives them at least a two-year edge over the competition.

In an interview with Indian Express, Eshwar Vangala, Apple’s senior director of worldwide developer relations, said the biggest asset of Indian developers is “their entrepreneurial spirit.”

“The current crop of developers are so keen to take an idea and turn it into an incredibly successful app. In the past, I would come across developers who are kind of looking at a pot of gold down the road and trying to figure out products that will actually make them successful,” said Vangala. “People are looking to give birth to an idea they’re looking at actually giving their idea wings to fly.”

Many success stories have originated from the app accelerator, including 2018 Apple Design Award winner Calzy, iPad app of the year Froggipedia, and others.

Apple last year said about 900,000 jobs in India can be directly attributed to the iOS ecosystem, some of which arise from the accelerator program.

“When people have discussions with us at the accelerator, they are usually born out of a need or a requirement. I think my favorite is Kushagra from Bangalore who created Cone to help identify ripe mangoes because he is color blind. It might seem something really small, but that’s a need he had and he created this application which is now helping you know millions of people across the world,” Vangala said.

Apple is planning on expanding the resources that it offers developers, including a new developer center at its Apple Park headquarters in California, even as its App Store policies have come under increasing scrutiny.

India is becoming an increasingly critical market for Apple, despite the Cupertino firm’s small footprint in the country. Apple officially launched its online storefront in India in 2020 and plans to ramp up domestic manufacturing.

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