In a press release, Apple has announced it is opening a new development office in Hyderabad, India. The team located here will apparently focus on improving Apple Maps, which is deeply integrated across Apple’s hardware and software as dedicated apps and embedded in other services, like Siri. The new center will create up to 4000 new jobs in the local economy. It is currently unclear as to the nature of the workforce, as Apple has preferred to keep its core software engineering team in California with most working solely in Cupertino.

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Creating 4000 new jobs at this one office would represent a huge expansion of Apple’s non-retail workforce. It is likely a significant portion of these jobs will be dedicated towards data collection, ground truth validation and similar efforts to improve the richness (and accuracy) of the underling mapping data sets Apple uses. This ultimately results in a better Maps app for customers.

In a statement, Tim Cook said talent in the local area is ‘incredible’. He said Apple wants to introduce more universities and partners to its platforms as the company grows.

“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 Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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.”

Thanks to the success of the iOS App Store, Apple currently indirectly supports over 640,000 app developer jobs in India. Apple is targeting India as a future growth market for iPhone sales, with Tim Cook often comparing opportunities in India to those in China. Foxconn is set to open a $10 billion iPhone manufacturing plant in India.

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