Apple could open app development facility in Indonesia

Apple could open an app development center in Jakarta, the capital and the most populous city of Indonesia and home to an upcoming Apple research and development center.

According to a source who spoke with Japanese outlet Nikkei, Apple’s app development center will open in suburban Jakarta as early as October, allowing the company to start selling its newest phones in Indonesia.

The Cupertino technology giant currently relies on a network of resellers to push iPhones in the country as the devices are unavailable through its online store in Indonesia.

But what do apps have to do with hardware sales?

Nikkei explains that Indonesia in 2015 imposed regulatory rules requiring phones sold in the country to use at least 30 percent locally procured components by 2017. Apple did not set up local production in the country, but last year the government had a change of heart and now counts locally developed mobile apps as “locally produced” content for smartphones.

Sensing an opportunity, Apple is now set to open an app development facility in Jakarta.

However, the policy change has drawn the ire of Samsung, which in 2015 established a smartphone production line inside its existing manufacturing plant in suburban Jakarta.

“Had the rule on app development come earlier, the South Korean company could have saved a lot of money by using Apple’s approach,” added Nikkei. “Policy shift means Apple can meet the quota with a smaller investment,” reads the article.

Similar sourcing requirements for foreign goods have prevented Apple from selling iPhones directly to customers in India. Recently, however, Apple and the Indian government have come to terms of doing business locally, paving the way for iPhone SE production in the country.