Apple urges iOS developers to localize their apps for global push

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reaching out to its developer and publisher partners, urging them to localize their applications and related marketing efforts to better serve consumers in international markets.

In a letter sent Wednesday by Apple's App Store and iBookstore teams and obtained by AppleInsider, Apple reminds partners that its App Store for iOS and Mac App Store are now available in 155 countries worldwide, supporting 40 different languages. "It has never been more important to localize your app and marketing material," Apple states. "By localizing both, you are making it easier to reach customers throughout the world. In addition, the App Store editorial team is always looking for great apps that are localized."

Apple urges content providers to localize their app name, content, menus, settings and description, beginning by targeting English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Arabic. Apple goes on to point partners to localization resources and localization vendors in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

"In your marketing material, highlight the fact that your app is localized," Apple adds. "This lets users know that they can enjoy your app in their native language."

The App Store now offers close to 850,000 applications for iOS devices, app metrics firm 148Apps.biz reports. Downloads from the four leading application storefronts--the App Store, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) World and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone Store--reached 13.4 billion worldwide during the first quarter of 2013, an 11 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2012, research firm Canalys reported earlier this week. The App Store represented the largest indexed proportion of revenue among the four stores, at around 74 percent.

Apple's call to accelerate localization efforts signals the company's latest move to expand its international presence, with a particular emphasis on the mammoth Chinese market. Earlier this week, Apple launched a Chinese Support Communities forum, giving Chinese-speaking consumers a platform to interact in their native tongue.

Apple is reportedly in talks with China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, to offer a low-cost iPhone aimed at developing markets; insiders say Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China Mobile executives in January, but an official deal has yet to materialize. Earlier this month, Cook also issued an apology to Chinese consumers after state-run media outlets harshly criticized Apple's warranty policies, targeting its efforts to repair broken products instead of replacing them. Some outlets claimed Apple is taking advantage of Chinese customers, accusing the firm of "unparalleled arrogance." Cook vowed Apple's customer service will improve moving forward.

For more:
- read this AppleInsider article

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