Apple has said its focus on mainland China is paying off. In January, Apple stated that China accounts for the second-highest number of app downloads in the world behind the U.S., and China is now their third largest in revenue. Of the 500,000 programmers in Apple's developer program in China in January, half joined last year according to Apple. Sales in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan totaled $9.3 billion last quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier. So is it any wonder why there was a huge delegation of developers from China at this year's World Wide Developer Conference this week.
During Apple's April financial conference call, Apple's CEO Tim Cook noted that "We've been working at China for a while and have learned a lot, and I'm very proud of what we've done there." He also noted that App Store revenue in the country grew by triple digits in the first three months of the year.
One of the reasons that Chinese developers are attracted to Apple's iOS platform is because "building for Apple's devices has its advantages. It's simpler than creating for Android, which sometimes requires tailoring an app to the many devices that use the software. Apple also has only one app store to sell through, while Android programs are available through different storefronts run by Xiaomi, Baidu Inc. and a slew of others." The Chinese developers attending WWDC also told Bloomberg that "The iPhone's high cost also naturally selects users with more disposable income to spend on apps."
Bloomberg also noted that "Apple is now mounting a furious campaign to woo more developers in China, in a bid to replicate an ecosystem of games and other widgets that has helped it drive iPhone and iPad sales in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Since 2011, Apple has steadily beefed up its developer-relations team in China so new apps can be approved in the country, and it has opened a new office in downtown Beijing where the China App Store is operated. Apple has also smoothed the process for how customers buy apps in China, and built new Chinese-language-specific software to benefit developers."
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