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App developers gather at Apple event

By Yu Wei in San Francisco | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-12 12:13

Moscone Center, the largest convention hall and exhibitor venue in San Francisco, was mobbed with people from around the world on Tuesday, the second day of Apple's five-day annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

The conference, which runs from Monday to Friday, has so far given participants a sneak peek at the next versions of its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems, new MacBook Air models, the redesigned Mac Pro desktop, and an ad-supported iTunes Radio service.

More than 5,000 developers, engineers, and fans are expected to attend this year's conference. Even though tickets are a steep $1,599 each, it took only 71 seconds to sell the event out.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, joined by other senior executives, said in an opening keynote on Monday that Apple has more than 6 million developers with 1.5 million added in the last year.

"We have now paid developers $10 billion and the momentum is incredible. We paid $5 billion of that just in the last year," Cook said on Monday.

Apple is taking good care of its Chinese developers. The company released a Chinese version of "Start Developing iOS Apps Today" last year, which is an online guide to creating iOS apps. It includes a feedback resource so that Chinese developers can submit their questions and comments in Chinese.

The number of Chinese iOS developers is continually increasing. According to UMeng, a Beijing-based startup focusing on serving app developers with detailed apps usage data, the cumulative number of Chinese iOS developers has increased 9.3 times from 2011 to 2013.

"Chinese (iOS) developers from large enterprises are usually concerned with their company's strategic considerations," said Hao Peiqiang, an electronic publisher from China. "As for many individual developers, they feel iOS apps are more user-friendly."

In addition, he noted that many app developers in China are those game developers who intend to monetize on iOS.

According to research firm App Annie, gaming accounted for 90 percent of first-quarter revenue this year in China for apps downloaded to devices running some version of Apple Inc's iOS operating system for gadgets. That's the highest percentage of any country served by Apple's App Store.

A year ago, China was barely inside the top 10 in iOS-device revenue, though it ranked No 2 in downloads from the App Store, which also includes Apple desktop and notebook computers.

From 2011 to 2013, Apple shared profits with its developers quadrupled from $2.5 billion to $10 billion.

However, Zhang Zhijian, an iOS developer said the rewards are not large enough for Chinese developers to share in terms of the growth rate of the Chinese developer.

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