Apple CEO Tim Cook is all geared up to visit India for the first time after taking over Apple in 2011. In what is seen as a way to take a larger share of the booming Asian market, Cook is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with some big players of the Indian corporate sector.
Cook’s arrival is expected to bring with it a number of opportunities for Apple’s future in India. Here are five key elements to look out for during Cook’s week-long stay in India:
1. Meeting Modi
Highlight of Cook’s trip to India is his meeting with the prime minister. Recently, the tech giant proposed selling refurbished iPhones in the country – an idea strongly opposed by the India’s telecommunications ministry. Apple has been primarily targeting developing markets and aiming to unlock their potential by offering refurbished products at affordable prices. However, local manufacturers have reportedly claimed that the plan would defeat the purpose of ‘Make in India’ program if the company is allowed to enter the market with cheap, recycled versions of older iPhones. Cook’s meeting with Modi might serve as a good opportunity to re-propose the idea that could help the tech giant reach wider audience without sacrificing the top-tier pricing it commands in other markets.
2. No ‘Make in India’
Although Apple is focusing on making it big in India with its iPhones, it is unlikely that the Cupertino giant will join hands with the Indian government for its local manufacturing initiative. Given the recent fiasco with the iPhone SE pricing in India and the exorbitantly priced iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, it was hoped that a local manufacturing could help bring down the cost of the device. Chipmaker Foxconn is currently helping China-based Xiaomi achieve its ‘Make in India’ goal. However, it is a distant dream to see the company do the same for Apple’s iPhones.
3. Apple retail stores in India
Last year, the Indian government relaxed the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for single-brand retail stores in the country. So, in January, Apple filed a proposal seeking permission for single-brand retail and selling products online, but Department Of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) had sought more information from the technology major due to certain gaps in the application. Apple has resubmitted its application. It is likely that the Apple chief could use his India visit to speed up the process as it has about only 2 per cent market share and currently. Presently, Apple products are sold by Apple distributors and resellers.
4. Meeting the industry bigwigs
Cook’s arrival is garnering a lot of interest after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s visit in 2015 followed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Just like his counterparts, Cook will be meeting industry leaders. Cook recently said that India has a huge potential and given the recent push for high-speed wireless network, the prospects are even more for tech players like Apple who want to make Indians use its devices to their fullest potential. Other than meeting the corporate biggies to advance the company’s India plans, Cook is also expected to meet employees and partners.
5. Visiting the Taj
On the lighter side, Cook might follow the traditional trip to Taj Mahal. From the royals to US presidents, this world heritage site and also one of the world’s wonders is visited by everyone. Cook’s secretive itinerary might include a date with the Taj during his Asia tour.
Source by news18