Apple mounts furious campaign to woo developers in China

“Apple Inc.’s effort to make China a growth hub will hinge on winning over more developers like Woody Wan,” Adam Satariano reports for Bloomberg. “Wan is the co-founder of Babeltime Inc., a Beijing-based maker of an iPhone game called Saga of Three Kingdoms. After making his first app for the smartphone in 2011, Wan found little support because Apple had few developer-relations staff in China and had only limited ways for customers to buy the programs. That’s beginning to turn around.”

“‘Two years ago there was no developer support in China,’ Wan said in an interview in San Francisco, where he was among a record number of Chinese attendees at Apple’s annual developer conference this week. ‘There’s been a significant improvement,'” Satariano reports. “Apple is now mounting a furious campaign to woo more developers in China, in a bid to replicate an ecosystem of games and other widgets that has helped it drive iPhone and iPad sales in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

“Since 2011, Apple has steadily beefed up its developer-relations team in China so new apps can be approved in the country, and it has opened a new office in downtown Beijing where the China App Store is operated. Apple has also smoothed the process for how customers buy apps in China, and built new Chinese-language-specific software to benefit developers,” Satariano reports. “‘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.'”

“Apple has said its focus on the country is paying off. In January, the company said China accounts for the second-highest number of app downloads in the world behind the U.S., and it’s third biggest in revenue,” Satariano reports. “Of the 500,000 programmers in Apple’s developer program in China in January, half joined last year, the company said. Sales in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan totaled $9.3 billion last quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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