Apple has leased about 50,000 sq ft of office space in Yelahanka, north Bengaluru, for its design and development accelerator to support engineering talent and grow the country’s iOS developer community, sources said.
The office space, expected to house about 300 people and open next year, will be in RMZ Galleria — an 11-acre plot for mixed-use development. It has 3 lakh sqft of office space, 4 lakh sqft space for a mall, and about 300 high-end apartments. It’s also expected to have a business hotel.
Through this centre, Apple hopes to encourage more developers to build applications for its iPhone, a strategy for it to justify the high sticker prices for its devices. Globally, such apps are considered of gold standard because of the customers’ ability to pay more.
India, the world’s second largest smartphones market, is dominated by Google’s Android software. Apple expects to wean a slice of the high-paying customers of Android to its own ecosystem.
“North Bengaluru is certainly the new Bandra Kurla Complex of Bengaluru and it’s a matter of time the central business district will move here with ample social infrastructure also in the pipeline,” Juggy Marwaha, South India managing director of property consultancy Jones Lange LaSalle told TOI.
The iPhone maker will pay Rs 40 per sq ft, translating into an annual rent of Rs 20 lakh. Apple and property developer RMZ were not immediately available for comment.
Around 40 million sqft of office space, expected to come up in the next five years, is in different stages of planning and construction in Bengaluru, according to a recent JLL report. However, with companies looking for space along the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and Sarjapur, these sub-markets are slowly getting saturated with a vacancy of just 2%.
Apple’s initiative coincides with its chief executive Tim Cook’s maiden visit to India where he announced an accelerator in Bengaluru and technology centre in Hyderabad.