Apple, in a press release:
This investment will accelerate Maps development and create up to 4,000 jobs.
“Apple is focused on making the best products and services in the world and we are thrilled to open this new office in Hyderabad which will focus on Maps development,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The talent here in the local area is incredible and we are looking forward to expanding our relationships and introducing more universities and partners to our platforms as we scale our operations.”
Apple Maps was practically nonexistent in India until just a while back. Now there’s noticeable improvements made in mapped locations, displaying ratings and better integration with Siri. (Still nothing close to Google Maps though.)
Navigation from one point to another isn’t supported yet (which is probably the make-or-break for any mapping service) but I suspect it shouldn’t be a long time coming. This, along with yesterday’s announcements, are great efforts on Apple’s part.
I’m not entirely convinced that this facility is solely to support development for Apple Maps though. Also, Apple’s partnered with TripAdvisor for ratings for point of interests. Currently, data for Apple Maps is provided by TomTom and others. Does setting up this facility mean Apple is creating their own solution from the ground up? The press release says ‘up to 4000 jobs’, after all.
I’m incredibly hopeful of the prospects here. I’m even faintly expectant of some India-related announcements this WWDC — I’m not holding my breath for it though; that’s next year’s WWDC, when enough time would’ve elapsed for these ventures to pay their dividends.
An interesting statistic from the press release:
Across India, Apple supports over 640,000 iOS app developer jobs and other positions related to the iOS ecosystem.