India was never a priority market for Apple. The company has been slow to react to market reality, but things are changing now. Ever since Tim Cook took up the mantle at Apple, his focus on India has got everyone’s attention, especially the media.
Cook has been on an Asia tour, where he met the founder of Chinese cab-aggregator Didi Chuxing and promised to invest $1 billion in the firm. His next stop is India, where he is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a few matters at hand.
Here’s what we think Apple and Tim Cook have in store for the Indian market with this trip.
Genuine Apple Store
The Indian retail FDI regulations do not allow major brands to open standalone stores in the country. This has denied millions of consumers in India the opportunity to experience what Apple Stores offer abroad. You also get the Apple Fanboy treatment with Mac Geniuses helping you make the right choices.
Reports have indicated that Apple is looking for leniency from the Modi regime to open up stores in India. The timing of Cook’s visit could go a long way for Apple to get their ground work approvals in order to set up shop as fast as they can.
Make in India iPhone
Foxconn has partnered with the likes of Xiaomi, Gionee and OnePlus to make phones in India, and recent reports suggest that the Chinese manufacturing major is eyeing a production plant to make iPhones as well.
Cook’s visit could speed things up for the company and help Foxconn get the necessary approvals to start work on a plant, most probably in the Maharashtra region.
As import costs are really high, Indian consumers pay a lot more for an iPhone and if Apple manages to get the ball rolling with Foxconn, we could truly have a made-in-India pocket-friendly iPhone in the near future.
Apple Goes Startup Hunting
It would be surprising if Tim Cook comes to India and doesn’t give the country’s IT hub a visit. Bengaluru is expected to be part of his schedule, which implies that a big startup-related announcement could be on the cards.
Also, one can expect Cook to meet a handful of startups to see if their goals align with that of Apple in the country. This would be a a win-win for both parties.
Get Indians to Buy Refurbished iPhones
The high cost of buying an iPhone has compelled consumers in India to choose Android devices. Which is why Apple was really hoping that its plans to sell refurbished iPhones would be a big hit in the country.
However, the Indian government saw it as a cause of concern and didn’t want India to turn into an e-waste dumping ground.
Cook is bound to try and get Modi and Co comfortable with the idea of selling refurbished iPhones.