Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced the creation of Europe’s first iOS App Development Center in Italy, to give students practical skills and training on developing iOS apps for the world’s most innovative and vibrant app ecosystem.

The iOS App Development Center, to be located at a partner institution in Naples, will support teachers and provide a specialized curriculum preparing thousands of future developers to be part of Apple’s thriving developer community. In addition, Apple will work with partners around Italy who deliver developer training to complement this curriculum and create additional opportunities for students. Apple expects to expand this program to other countries around the world.

“Europe is home to some of the most creative developers in the world and we’re thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The phenomenal success of the App Store is one of the driving forces behind the more than 1.4 million jobs Apple has created in Europe and presents unlimited opportunities for people of all ages and businesses of all sizes across the continent.”

Apple is a powerful engine of growth across Europe and the company’s ecosystem now supports more than 1.4 million jobs, including 1.2 million attributable to the community of app creators, software engineers and entrepreneurs building apps for iOS, as well as non-IT jobs supported directly and indirectly through the app economy.*

The unprecedented growth of the App Store® has helped developers in Europe earn over €10.2 billion from selling their apps around the world.

In Italy, over 75,000 jobs are attributable to the App Store and the developer community is vibrant. IK Multimedia launched its first app in 2009 and since then has had over 25 million downloads. Musement, launched in 2013, is now available in seven languages and 300 cities across 50 countries, making it easy for people to book travel and excursions on the go.

Roberto Macina, CEO and founder of Qurami, said: “Apple’s continued innovation inspires us to create the best mobile experiences and make our customers’ lives just a little bit easier. Apple’s app ecosystem is the anchor for our business, and developing across Apple’s operating systems has enabled us to easily and quickly bring the Qurami experience to iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch users.”

Thousands of companies are expanding because of their work with Apple, which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities large and small across Europe. Milan-based Laboratorio Elettrofisico makes some of the most sophisticated magnetization equipment in the world and their technology enables some of the industry-leading magnetic features found in Apple products. Apple also works with Europe’s leading manufacturers of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, which create tiny components that power some of the incredible sensor and audio technologies found in iOS devices.

*Job creation estimate based on research by Dr. Michael Mandel, Progressive Policy Institute. “App Economy Jobs in Europe,” January 21, 2016. (Original Source)

Shares of Apple closed yesterday at $96.79 . AAPL has a 1-year high of $134.54 and a 1-year low of $92. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $106.93 and its 200-day moving average is $113.78.

On the ratings front, Apple has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich maintained a Buy rating on AAPL, with a price target of $130, which represents a potential upside of 34.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Raymond James’ Tavis McCourt maintained a Hold rating on the stock .

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Steven Milunovich and Tavis McCourt have a total average return of -2.4% and 10.1% respectively. Milunovich has a success rate of 36.1% and is ranked #2819 out of 3579 analysts, while McCourt has a success rate of 60.9% and is ranked #214.

The street is mostly Bullish on AAPL stock. Out of 36 analysts who cover the stock, 30 suggest a Buy rating , 5 suggest a Hold and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $142.00, which implies an upside of 46.7% from current levels.