iOS apps: Apple unveils plans for new hub to produce tomorrow's developers

Apple will open a new iOS development hub to give birth to the next generation of app developers for its mobile platform.

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Europe's app economy sized up: iOS and Android are neck and neck, but thanks to richer iPhone owners, iOS probably spurs more entrepreneurship in Europe.

Image: Progressive Policy Institute

Apple plans to open its first European iOS app development hub in Naples, Italy, offering skills and training in creating software for the mobile OS.

Apple has long boasted that iOS and its App Store represent more than just revenue for its coffers and that they're also a significant engine for jobs growth, not just in the US but also in Europe and China.

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Adding weight to that claim, Apple now plans to open a new iOS App Development Center in Naples, Italy, which the company expects will be the first of several located in other countries around the world.

The hub is to be sited at an as-yet unnamed institution in the southern Italian city, where Apple says it will support instructors and provide a curriculum to support future developers.

The company also plans to work with partners in Italy to offer developer training that complements the curriculum.

Though overall and youth unemployment rates in Italy have fallen in recent months, the country has been one of the hardest hit by Europe's economic woes.

Apple's new initiative also comes on the heels of a reported €318m ($348m) payment to Italy's tax office to settle accusations that it hadn't paid taxes in six years.

Apple boasts that in Italy alone some 75,000 jobs are attributable to the App Store, while its broader ecosystem now supported 1.4 million jobs in Europe.

"Europe is home to some of the most creative developers in the world, and we're thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success," Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

"The phenomenal success of the App Store is one of the driving forces behind the more than 1.4 million jobs Apple has created in Europe and presents unlimited opportunities for people of all ages and businesses of all sizes across the continent," he added.

Apple also highlighted that it has helped European developers earn over €10.2bn from selling their apps around the world.

The iPhone maker's announcement coincides with a new report from US think-tank Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), which estimates that Europe's app economy today supported 1.64 million jobs.

According to PPI, Android and iOS each account for 75 percent of Europe's app economy workers, each representing 1.2 million jobs.

Its figures exceed 100 percent because jobs in the analysis specified more than one operating system. Meanwhile, BlackBerry accounted for six percent of jobs while Windows Phone represented nine percent.

Despite parity between Android and iOS, PPI noted that iOS likely has a larger impact on entrepreneurship because iPhone owners typically have higher incomes, while iOS tends to generate more revenue for developers.

Indeed, as per a report from App Annie, revenues from Apple's App Store grew faster than Google Play revenues, despite faster growth in total downloads from Google's store.

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