Apple Opens its Development Centre in Hyderabad; Focus on Maps and Navigations Services
Ever since Apple promised to set up a technology development centre outside US, many countries, including India amongst larger European nations, were identified for an offshore centre. Finally, India got the green light and Hyderabad was chosen as the city to host the office facility.
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, inaugurated the development centre in Hyderabad on 19th May, as a part of his first visit to the country. The investment amount has not been disclosed yet but the facility is expected to employ up to 4000 people. Earlier this year, we had reported about this and the rumoured investment was in region of $25 million
The iPhone maker has decided to open the centre to focus on Apple Maps, its navigation services, which have been receiving a lot of flak from users. First things first, Google Maps is hands down the best map service even for iOS users and Apple has been trying very hard to match up to that level.
The centre has been opened in WaveRock SEZ area in Gachibowli, Hyderabad. The city is slowly becoming the tech-hub of the country and this is a prime example of the same.
Talking at the inauguration, Tim Cook said, “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.”
So what went wrong with Apple Maps?
In 2012, Apple released its own version of Maps to take on Google Maps and in fact replaced the default Google Map services to Apple Maps. It received a lot of criticism from users and reviewers both, owing to the fact that there was clear disfiguration of locations.
The maps were not accurate enough either, usually providing the wrong direction to the users, causing discomfort. Apple acquired some companies as well to improve its services, but all efforts went in vain.
In subsequent iOS updates, the maps improved and Apple added a 3D look as well to make the locations look more fancy and real-like. Apple also added full-screen mode, night mode, navigation for pedestrians and real-time traffic information.
What still made people angry was the fact that Apple’s service was no competitor to Google Maps, which was no longer a default option. Finally in 2015, public transport was added to the maps, making the life of an iOS user a lot easier.
Even now Apple Maps have not yet made a mark and Google Maps seem to dominate the navigation space. Hyderabad’s facility is expected to ramp up the Maps operations and significantly upscale the features, considering the abundance of talent here.
Apple’s plan in India going forward
Apple has also shared that the Cupertino-based company is going to open a technology centre in Bengaluru, silicon valley of India, to nurture app developments for iOS.
A developing economy with so many talented computer science graduates makes India an attractive location to invest into. Apple is also going to open a manufacturing unit in India with Foxconn to produce its iPhones locally and bring down the exorbitant price one has to pay for its smartphone.
Tim Cook is also going to talk to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, about opening Apple stores in the country and plans to expand these stores throughout India.
All these developments are exciting and definitely something Indians should look forward to. Not only will the iPhones become cheaper, but the company will sell its devices through its own retail stores, leading to better customer satisfaction and experience.
Hyderabad Becoming the Preferred Choice for Biggies
Hyderabad seems to be the favourite place for all the Tech biggies. It has Amazon’s biggest campus outside of USA with an investment of 1800 Cr, So does Uber. What’s more even Google’s largest campus out of US is located in Hyderabad. Microsoft too has a huge facility there.
With Apple coming in – Hyderabad now has development centres of all the top 4 global technology companies!