Tim Cook Assures More Money, Energy For Apple In India
Apple CEO Tim Cook exhibited his intentions to pump in more money and energy into India. He said he is very “bullish” and “optimistic” about the Indian market and plans to expand footprints.
“We are investing in India…we’ve already launched an app accelerator center. That’s on top of working with the channel and looking at expanding our go-to-market in general,” Cook said while talking to analysts during the company’s quarter earnings call.
“And we began to produce the iPhone SE there during the quarter, and we’re really happy with how that’s going. And so we’re bringing all of our energies to bear there. I see a lot of similarities to where China was several years ago,” he added.
Cook said he finds several similarities between where the Indian market is now and where China was several years ago.
Apple’s contract manufacturer Wistron, has started assembling the iPhone SE in Bengaluru. It further plans to take on full-fledged manufacturing in India wherein it will bring its key component makers at a single place.
Indian authorities have offered tax concessions for the work encouraging more local components to be used over time.
At present, Apple does not have a wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro. Local manufacturing would help Apple open retail stores in the country where its iPhones account for less than 2% of Indian smartphones sales.
“It expanded from couple of distributors to more than five now within two years,” ET quoted Tarun Pathak, associate director at Hong Kong-based market research firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research as saying. “We believe that Apple’s direct tie-up with regional/area distributors can have a larger impact on its distribution reach,” he said.
According to Pathak while tier II and II are significant for the company, however, for first-time users in India, it plans wholly-owned retail stores in tier I cities which will attract to repeat buyers to upgrade by controlling end-to-end experience. It will also create more interest in Apple devices and the ecosystem as a whole.
Cook met PM Modi at a business summit in Washington at a time when its revenue is squeezing out in China and the iPhone maker is looking at leveraging the Indian market for higher sales.
Cook mentioned that smartphone vendor had generated 740,000 jobs in India through its “app economy” and Indian developers has generated nearly 100,000 apps for the App Store, the person said.
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