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App Store expanding to Rwanda

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NEW TIMES MAR 25 2020

American tech giant Apple on Monday announced its virtual platform App Store will be launched in 20 new countries this year, Rwanda inclusive.

In a statement published on its website, the firm said that this was part of its strategy to expand to as many markets to serve better Apple users around the world.

“App Store will expand even farther this year with upcoming support for 20 new countries, allowing you to increase your impact and grow your business in new markets,” the tech giant said in a statement.

The App Store is a digital distribution platform, developed and maintained by Apple Inc., for mobile apps on its iOS operating system.

Most of the new countries are from Africa and Eurasia.

Countries from other regions include Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, Maldives, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Apple has previously been criticized for its “ironic” business line of selling its iPhones and Macs where users won’t access “full benefits” of the prestigious brands.

Besides Rwanda, other African countries on the list are Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique and Zambia.

The world’s wealthiest tech company was blamed to care less about its clients from small markets, forcing users from such markets to resort to shortcuts such as using fake accounts to be able to purchase apps or extra iCloud storage.

With this expansion, developers from the new regions will be authenticated to publish and monetize their apps built with iOS software development kit on the platform.

The move allows users of iOS operating system an exclusive access to a store that features over 2.2 million apps, ranging from free, free with in-app purchase and paid.

They will be allowed to, for instance, browse and download apps on the iPhones, the iPod Touch, or iPad tablets as well as transferring them to Apple smartwatch or TVs.

Currently, the App Store is supported in 155 countries worldwide and registers over half a billion visitors each week.

According to the statement, the platform has helped generate over US$155 billion in developer earnings – just from sales of apps and in-app purchases.

For an app to appear in these new countries on the distribution platform, Apple has asked developers to log into their accounts on its developer website and accept the updated license agreements.

A developer can then select the “New Countries or Regions” checkbox in the Pricing and Availability section of the app’s information page to automatically make the app available in all new countries.

For now, Apple has not said when the support will be available in the new regions, but urges developers to have registered their apps by April 10, 2020, suggesting the support will roll out then.

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