Apple India Stories May 18, 2016

The Economic Times reports that Tim Cook is meeting with the heads of major carriers in India in order to form ‘strategic partnerships’ as the country accelerates its LTE rollout. The smartphone market in India has so far been constrained by slow data speeds in most parts of the country.

Cook has said the advent of high-speed 4G networks in India will expand the market for iPhones, flagging elsewhere, making it a key market for the company.

Cook is said to be meeting with Bharti Airtel, the largest carrier in the country; Reliance Jio Infocomm, which plans to roll out LTE services nationwide this year; as well as Vodafone and others …

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Apple India Stories May 3, 2016

Bloomberg speculates that India could refuse to grant Apple permission to sell used iPhones in the country citing comments from a telecommunications ministry official today.

The U.S. company’s application has been turned down, the official said, asking to not be identified, citing official policy [whileApple declined to comment.

Apple had hoped that used iPhone sales would be a good way to get a foothold in a country where its market share is just 2%, and where 80% of phones cost less than $150. Its iPhone Upgrade Program in the United States gave the company a plentiful supply of used phones that it could have sold at much lower prices in India without sacrificing margin, which must have seemed like the perfect plan … 

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Apple India Stories April 28, 2016

A report back in February that Apple would be allowed to open retail stores in India has been corroborated by India’s Economic Times. India normally doesn’t allow single-brand retail stores unless at least 30% of their products are made within the country, but Apple is reportedly set to be granted an exemption on the grounds that its products are ‘cutting-edge technology.’

A government panel has recommended exempting Apple from mandatory local sourcing norms, a move which would pave the way for Apple to open single-brand retail stores in the country. “The committee has found that the company’s products are cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art. It has recommended to exempt them from the local sourcing norms,” sources said.

The exemption is a pretty big deal for Apple …

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Apple India Stories September 28, 2015

Shortly after Tim Cook met with the Chinese President, Apple’s CEO has met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as expected. The Times of India reports that the two of them discussed the possibility of bringing Apple Pay to the country, and Prime Minister Modi invited Apple to set up a manufacturing base in the country.

Cook was said to have “responded positively” to the idea, though nothing more specific was announced. We’ve known for some time that Foxconn has plans to build multiple factories in India, but neither company has confirmed that these would be manufacturing products for Apple. Foxconn carries out contract manufacturing for a number of high-profile brands.

Apple does, however, have one strong incentive to manufacture iPhones in India …  expand full story

Apple India Stories July 27, 2015

Apple’s retail expansion in India underway, 100+ of 500 resellers reportedly selected

Apple’s plan to establish 500 mobile-focused reseller stores in India is reportedly well underway, with NDTV Gadgets reporting that more than 100 of the partners for its Authorised Mobility Resellers (AMR) program have already been signed-up.

Apple seems to have already identified the cities, and indeed the areas within these cities where it wants to open the new stores, as a job listing on Apple’s website says the responsibility of Program Manager – AMR is to select store locations “within identified micro markets within a city” (emphasis ours).

An Apple-appointed contractor is building the stores’ interiors to ensure that they conform to Apple’s design and size requirements, before handing them back to the third-party resellers to operate. The partners are reportedly being selected by Apple on the basis of their track-record in selling Apple products.

Apple is said to be focusing on building market share in the company, and will, unusually, allow AMRs to discount iPhones below the official retail price.

Apple India Stories April 8, 2015

Times of India is reporting that Apple is expected to have hit $1B in revenue in India in the financial year ended on 31st March – up 42% year-on-year, and a tripling of revenue over the past three years. India is one of the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) where Apple is expecting to see a large chunk of its future growth.

It had previously been reported that Apple sold half a million iPhones in the final calendar quarter of 2014, and Cybermedia Research estimates that it sold 1.3M phones in the full financial year. If true, “over $1B revenue is inevitable,” says the report …  expand full story

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