Apple Inc. views India as a very important market. The company has been on a mission to open its own retail stores in the country. The iPhone makers plans are being frustrated as the firm doesn’t comply with a regulation to procure 30% of the components locally. The Modi Administration is reportedly thinking about giving a green signal to Apple, but the company will have make a commitment to bring manufacturing facilities to the country, Bloomberg News reported, citing a senior government official.
Earlier, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the U.S. tech giant will need to create jobs for Indians if the company wants to sell its products in India through its own stores. The Indian government already rejected the company’s proposal to sell refurbished iPhones in the country. Currently, the iPhone maker produces most of its products in China. It is not clear whether the company will able to meet the requirement of sourcing 30% of its components locally. India offers waivers to companies providing cutting-edge technology. Chinese companies Xiaomi and LeEco had also applied for a similar waiver. Apple is likely to get a waiver.
The official, who wanted not to be disclosed, said that the government wants Apple to announce a timeframe for some domestic manufacturing. The person noted that the country’s Finance and Commerce Ministries are in talks about adjusting current policies to allow Apple to make a revised application. It is not necessary for the company to own the plant itself, but it could work with a manufacturing partner like Foxconn Technology Group as it does now in China.
Apple Wants To Expand In India
Apple is facing problems in China, where its sales plunged 26% in its fiscal second quarter. Recently, the Chinese government blocked certain services from Apple. The company is looking to India, which is poised to become the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world.
Last month, CEO Tim Cook made a long trip to India. The company announced plans to build Maps for iOS, OS X and watchOS in India. It already opened a new office in Hyderabad, where it will hire develops for its Maps program. The company is also planning to set up an app design and development center in the Bangalore.
In India, the company is selling iPhones through partners such as Redington India as well as the retail units of Indian conglomerates Tata Group and Reliance Industries Ltd.
India Growing Smartphones Market
Apple Inc. knows this, but the company will face tough competition from Samsung and other mobile markers, whose smartphones are cheaper than iPhones. The International Data Corporation’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker showed that 23.5 million units of smartphones were shipped in India in the first quarter of 2016, up 5.2% compared to the same period last year. The fast growing Indian consumer market may “steal China thunder,” IndianExpress.com reported citing Chinese reports.
What Billionaire Carl Icahn Thinks About Apple
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn unloaded his entire stake in Apple during the first quarter. Confidence in company was shaken after it reported its first-ever quarterly decline in iPhone sales and first revenue drop in 13 years in April. Icahn is concerned about the company’s growth in China. But it seems that Icahn still loves Apple, in which he had been a prominent investor. Talking to CNBC’s Squawk Box, the activist investor said “I would get back in if I felt more secure about China” and he thinks that CEO Tim Cook is “doing a good job.” The latest filing submitted by Icahn to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed that the investor sold around 45.76 million shares of the company during January-March period. During that period, Apple’s stock gained around 3.60%.
Shares of Apple Inc. were down 1.51% in after-hours trading. The stock has lost 14% during the past six months.