Apple Inc. released the much-awaited iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus in September 2014. The new phones were released in 10 countries, including Singapore and Hong Kong in Asia. But the tech giant did not launch the two devices in India nor did it announce a date by which the phones would be made available in the country. Now though, the things have changed.
India – now a very important market for Apple
Till a few years ago, India was not in the radar of the Cupertino-based smartphone maker.
In July 2012, CEO Tim Cook said he loves India, but believes his firm has higher potential in some other countries. He further said that does not mean the iPhone maker is not interested in India, and they are going to continue putting some energies there, but there will be larger opportunities elsewhere in the intermediate term.
Now, India has become a promising market for the US tech giant over the recent months. On April 26, Cook called the country a “really great opportunity” while announcing its quarterly earnings. During the earnings call, Cook told that over the last 18 months or so, they have been working in India with great energy, and he is encouraged by the results they are starting to see there.
And, less than a month later, Cook made his first official trip to India – the second largest smartphone market. As per the estimates, the premium smartphone segment in India is around 4% of the overall market. Along with the premium handsets, the tech giant also wants to sell more affordable, refurbished phones, to improve its sales in the price-sensitive country drastically. So far, it has failed to get an approval from the government.
Making big investments
In an interview to TV channel NDTV, Cook said India is among the top priorities for the tech giant despite the regulatory restrictions. Cook said Apple is approaching India “very humbly” now, and is hoping to stay in the market for a “thousand years.”
Apple Inc. announced setting up of a mobile apps accelerator in Bengaluru by early 2017, and Cook also inaugurated Apple’s new office in Hyderabad. The tech giant has said to will hire up to 4,000 new employees at this office.
Apple did not announce the exact amount of investments in the two facilities, but Cook told NDTV that the Bengaluru center would be a “major investment,” and the tech giant would spend “several hundred million dollars” on the Hyderabad office.
When asked about China, Cook told NDTV that his plan for India has nothing to do with China. Cook said they have been selling in the country for a while, but are taking a step back to view India strategically. He believes the reforms that are going in India means the country has enormously bright future, and Apple Inc. would like to be a part of that.