Apple is set to attract more Chinese developers to its ecosystem by increasing its developer-relations staff in China and building new Chinese-language-specific software to benefit developers, reports Bloomberg.
The Bloomberg report points to two facts. First, Apple ranks only No. 5 in China, behind Samsung, Lenovo, Coolpad Group, and Xiaomi Corp, according to IDC. Secondly, Apple’s low market share is peppered with a low number of apps available in the Chinese App Store: 150,000, just a fraction of the 1.2 million available now.
“On a scale of one to 10 in terms of importance in China, it ranks at about 11,” Ramon Llamas, an analyst for IDC who tracks the mobile industry, said of Apple’s app development. “Nobody buys a smartphone just for it to be a phone — the value of your device goes up with the more applications that you download on to it.”
For Apple, the Chinese market represents high interest, and even Tim Cook highlighted this fact during this week’s keynote.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is focusing on China after its growth has slowed down, and it is looking for new markets for expansion. Before inking a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier, Tim Cook visited China a couple of times and emphasized the importance of the Chinese market each time.
“We’ve been working at China for a while and have learned a lot, and I’m very proud of what we’ve done there,” Cook said in April on a conference call. He said App Store revenue in the country grew by triple digits in the first three months of the year.
Apple’s focus on this market has apparently had its first results: Back in January, Apple revealed that China accounts for the second-highest number of app downloads in the world, right behind the US. Another important success is among developers: Of the half-a-million programmers registered in Apple’s developer program in China in January, about half joined the program last year.