As Apple increasingly relies on services revenue to grow its profits, its easiest route to sharing in 30% of recurring App Store revenues is to help third-party developers win more subscribers for their apps. To that end, Apple has announced the opening of its first app development accelerator in Shanghai, China, offering developers the opportunity to “take their apps to the next level” with direct assistance from Apple personnel.
Historically, a huge number of Chinese developers — over 2.5 million, by Apple’s estimate — have churned out apps for the App Store, but these often struggle to achieve popularity outside of China. Apple expects to assist accelerator participants in designing, distributing, and marketing their apps for global rather than just local appeal, as well as spotlighting its newest and most important technologies within the country.
The Design and Development Accelerator has already started to teach Chinese developers about the potential of augmented reality apps, spurring interest as it plans to move from iPhone- and iPad-reliant AR displays into dedicated AR glasses.