Reaffirming its interest in emerging markets, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is very optimistic and focused on exploring Indian market.
Underlining its investments in India, Cook said the company had launched an app accelerator centre and was looking at expanding our go-to-market in general.
“I’m very, very bullish and very, very optimistic about India. So we’re bringing all of our energies to bear there,” Cook said in reply to a question on how he saw the India market while taking questions at Apple’s third quarter earnings.
“We have already launched App Accelerator, that’s on top of working with the channel and looking at expanding our go-to-market in general”, he added.
US tech giant has been in talks with Indian officials since last three months. Apple CEO and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to set up a production base in the country that goes beyond just assembling the devices. Modi had also met Apple CEO on his tour to US. Apple, in May, working with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Winstron, began assembling the iPhone SE in Bengaluru.
Now, the company has asked the Indian government for its policy review and to extend tax breaks to its suppliers. Meanwhile, Govt officials said to assimilate the demand of Apple require new policy on ground, which may take few more months.
Policy review if granted will also benefit South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and China’s Oppo, who too currently have predominantly assembly operations in India. The tech company is also in talks to sign a deal with HCL Infosystems to expand its presence and distribute its products in retail space in India.
Apple is looking at India with lot of hope and as its next growth market after its numbers in China have not been not so inspiring. The downfall in sales has seen dip of 25 to 28 percent in current quarter. The number of iPhones sold globally fell 1 per cent in the first calendar quarter, compared with the same period a year ago.
In India, Apple is also second to Samsung in used mobiles segment with 20% of share. In 2016, older phones accounted for almost 55 percent of the 2.6 million devices Apple shipped to India.
Cook also sees a lot of similarities in where India is today with where China was just a few years ago. China is the world’s largest smartphone market, while India is the second largest. Last year Cook made his maiden visit to India.
Many industry veterans think that Apple’s investment would be a big win for Modi’s Make-in-India campaign as it would pay dividend and help its smartphone market grow mature.