Apple opens first developer academy in Asia
TANGERANG, Indonesia — United States tech giant Apple has opened a developer academy in Bumi Serpong Damai on the outskirts of Jakarta as part of its move to comply with a government regulation on local content requirements (TKDNs).
The newly opened Apple Developer Academy is the first in Asia and third in the world, with two other academies located in Italy and Brazil. Apple plans to open at least two more academies, one in Java and another outside of Java.
Based on the government regulation, there is a 30-percent local content requirement for all 4G gadgets sold in Indonesia. The TKDN is calculated based on manufacturing, software and innovation development.
To comply with the regulation, Apple chose to use the TKDN calculation with a focus on innovation development, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on Monday.
“In the past, [the public thought] TKDNs were about hardware. However, it is also about innovation,” the minister told reporters during the inauguration of the academy in Tangerang, Banten.
Under Industry Ministry Regulation No. 29/M-IND/PER/7/2017 on provisions and procedures used to calculate local component levels for cellular phones, handheld devices and tablet computers, there are three TKDN calculation models: TKDNs based on manufacturing, software or innovation centers.
Discussions about a plan by Apple to invest in the construction of a research and development (R&D) center in Indonesia began circulating in local media in August 2017. However, the tech giant decided to build an innovation center, instead of an R&D center for hardware and software.
“There are various types of R&D, such as for engineering and manufacturing. Instead of doing that, they are focusing on human capital and app development,” Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said.
The academy, inaugurated by Apple on Monday in collaboration with Binus University, trains local students to develop applications for the iOS operating system, with a total investment of US$44 million from 2017 to 2019.
The academy is situated on 1,500 square meters of land in BSD City, Tangerang. The tech giant agreed to rent the space from property developer Sinar Mas Land for five years.
Apple-trained instructors have been teaching 75 Binus students at the academy as part of a one-year program. Students are being taught programming languages Objective-C and Swift. Swift is Apple’s programming language, which was created to build apps for iOS, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
“We are thrilled to be opening the Apple Developer Academy in Jakarta to help provide the next generation of developers the skills they need to develop iOS apps and join the fast-growing app economy,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said in a statement.
During the facility tour on Monday, students from Binus University registered with the program presented the results of their two to three week group collaboration on creating apps.
The results include prototypes of an app called Toll X, designed to help people identify toll fares in advance, as well as another app developed by a group of young students called S.A.F.E, created to simplify access to emergency services.
In the next phase, the Apple developer academy will open to students of other universities in the country.
With the new innovation center, the government hopes that Apple can help the country to create around 200 new local developers every year.
Apple said the iOS developer community in Indonesia was expanding, with an increase of over 50 percent in the last two years. In 2017, iOS developers worldwide earned $26.5 billion.
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