India Stories August 4

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The Apple CEO, Mr. Tim Cook calls on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on May 21, 2016.
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Strategy Analytics paints a grim picture for Apple on the Indian Subcontinent. The world’s third-largest smartphone market after China and the US is not taking to the iPhone in meaningful numbers. In fact, sales dropped significantly — 35 percent — in Q2 2016 to just 800,000 iPhones sold vs. 1.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.  Clearly, the launch of the cheapest iPhone ever, the iPhone SE, wasn’t a big winner in India.

Meanwhile, smartphone shipments grew 19 percent annually to reach 31 million units in India during the second quarter of 2016, with over 97 percent of those devices being Android.

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India Stories July 25

AAPL: 97.34

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Apple announced back in May that it would be opening an iOS App Design & Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, India – and the Economic Times reports that it has now agreed to lease more than 40,000 square feet of office space to house the facility.

Citing ‘three people familiar with the matter,’ the report says that the center will be spread over two floors at Galleria in North Bengaluru. Bengaluru – formerly called Bangalore – is known as ‘the IT capital of India,’ home to more technology startups than any other part of the country. Over a million people in the city work in the tech sector …

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India Stories July 20

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We’ve been hearing conflicting reports on whether or not Apple will be allowed to open retail stores in India ever since Tim Cook met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last September. A new Bloomberg report suggests that Modi may be about to finally give the go-ahead.

While India is currently a very small market for Apple, Cook has repeatedly described the country as the next China. The huge population and growing middle-class means that India has enormous future potential for Apple, but a law has so far prevented the company from opening official Apple Stores there …

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India Stories June 20

AAPL: 95.10

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Opening Apple Stores in India has been something of a challenge for the company. The law normally requires companies to manufacture at least 30% of their products within India before they can open a single-brand store under a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rule, but TNW is reporting that a decision to liberalize the FDI deal will finally provide the go-ahead for Apple Stores.

Apple will likely be allowed to avoid sourcing products locally for eight years – three years as per the new norms and an additional five years if it can prove it deals in ‘state-of-the-art’ and ‘cutting-edge’ technology that’s unavailable in the country.

If confirmed, the ruling will be an important one for Apple, which Tim Cook has described as the next China. An eight-year deal does, however, seem unlikely …

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India Stories May 25

AAPL: 99.62

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In India, it’s required that any company wanting to set up a retail location must sell at least 30 percent locally sourced goods, but reports claimed that because of Apple’s “cutting-edge technology,” it would be able to circumvent this requirement. According to a report from Reuters today, however, that is not the case.

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The South China Morning Post reports that iPhone maker Foxconn has replaced more than half of its workforce with robots since the launch of the iPhone 6. The figures were provided by the local government in Kunshan, where the company is based.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs,” said the department’s head Xu Yulian … 

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