Following Google and Microsoft, Apple Inc is to open its first technology development centre outside the United States in Hyderabad, India.
The new centre will be built on 250,000 square feet of land in the real estate firm Tishman Speyer's WaveRock facility at Hyderabad's IT corridor at a cost of $25 million (150 crore rupees). It is anticipated to create 4,500 jobs for locals. IT majors such as Infosys, Wipro, Microsoft, and Cognizant have already set up their offices in the IT corridor.
The California-based multinational technology development company will initially open its innovation centre in June and launch fully fledged operations by the end of this year. It plans to develop maps and make them available in its iPhones and Mac systems.
Though Apple had a technology support centre in Bengaluru, it closed the facility a decade ago, citing poor quality services. Apple has so far kept the development of core technology operations inside the company and mostly in the United States. It has only outsourced commoditised application maintenance to vendors, according to a media report.
Apple's decision to open its facility in Hyderabad is viewed as a momentous one.
"It's a very positive development as Apple has not looked at cities only in India, but across many places in Europe and other parts of the world. Their decision to have the facility in Hyderabad is a strong endorsement of the city as a major IT hub in the country," Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary to IT department in the state of Telangana, told ZDNet.
Ranjan could not confirm when the company will sign a memorandum of understanding, although it is expected either by the end of this month, or a week later in March.
Telangana State Technology Services managing director GT Venkateshwar Rao said that Apple's decision will certainly give a boost to the city's image as a technology hub.
"Microsoft's Windows 10 was developed in Hyderabad, but it has been a global product now," he said.
"If a company like Apple is deploying its resources in Hyderabad, it will not only create employment, but also gives the city a brand image."
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, during his visit to India in December last year, announced that his company will open South Asia's biggest campus, and Google's only campus outside its headquarters in the US, in Hyderabad in the next few years.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visited Hyderabad in December and announced plans to expand his company's operations in the state.
Tishman Speyer's Hyderabad representatives declined to comment about their deal with Apple.