Apple just announced the opening of a new $25 million development center in Hyderabad, India with the primary purpose of accelerating Maps development. It’ll also create 4,000 jobs, according to the press release. The news was first reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday.
Apple had a rough start with Maps when it launched on iOS in 2012. Prior to that, Google Maps had been the default maps app for iPhone users. Last year, Apple said that Apple Maps receives 5 billion requests per week and is used 3.5-times more frequently than the “next leading maps app.” It still lags Google Maps in features, however, and lacks the breadth of global coverage.
“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 Apple CEO Tim Cook. “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.”
Tim Cook is reportedly on a “charm offensive” this week, traveling to both China and India. Apple stock got hammered recently after announcing its first quarterly decline in revenue in 13 years. Both China and India are seen by Cook and Co. as critical to future Apple growth.