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'India' Articles

Ruling in India Clears Way for Apple's Long-Awaited Retail Expansion

The Indian government today announced a few changes to its rules on foreign direct investments (FDI) within the country, which previously required 30 percent of goods sold by a foreign company to be manufactured or produced within India (via The Times of India). The rule stagnated Apple's retail store growth within the country due to most of its products being created in China. Now, Apple is going to be the recipient of a 3 year "relaxation" that India is introducing on its local sourcing rules, which was predicted earlier in the month, in addition to an extension of another 5 years on top of that if it can prove that the products it sells are "state of the art." India has previously exempted companies who proved such quality over the last few years, which prompted Apple to file a new application with the Indian government in May. Apple's plans to open stores in the country had suffered a setback as the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), under the finance ministry, red-flagged a panel's recommendation to relax the mandatory local sourcing norm for the Cupertino-based company to sell its products through the single-brand retail window. The panel comprising representatives from departments of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) and information technology had recommended a waiver from the 30% sourcing norm on the ground that Apple's products were "cutting-edge", which allows for doing away with the domestic procurement rule. If it gets the 5 year extension, Apple could open and run retail stores in India for 8 years without needing to source products

Netflix Announces First Original Series Out of India

Netflix today announced its first original television series from India, one of the 190 countries where its streaming service was launched in January. Netflix has seen fantastic success producing original shows for its American and English customer base, and the news follows similar announcements for original shows for the company's subscribers in Argentina and Germany. Netflix is partnering with Indian film and production company Phantom Films to make an English and Hindi adaptation of gangster thriller novel Sacred Games, by Indian author Vikram Chandra. Set in Mumbai, Sacred Games delves into the city's intricate web of organized crime, corruption, politics and espionage that lie beneath India's economic renaissance. It is described as "an epic masterwork of exceptional richness and power that interweaves the lives of the privileged, the famous, the wretched and the bloodthirsty". The series will be available globally, although the release date remains unknown. India's online markets are rapidly growing, and its film industry is estimated to be worth 192 billion rupees ($3.1 billion) by 2017. Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple executives met with TV producers and Hollywood studios about developing original TV shows that it would offer exclusively to its iTunes customers. Those discussions were also reportedly led by Cue and Robert Kondrk, vice-president of iTunes content. The original content could spearhead Apple's plans to launch its streaming TV service, which has been delayed due to its difficulties in securing deals with media

India May Exempt Apple From Sourcing Requirement For 'Two to Three Years'

The Indian government is prepared to allow Apple to open its first three planned retail outlets in the country without any sourcing requirement for their first few years of business, reports Times of India. As a rule, 30 percent of goods sold by foreign companies must be manufactured or produced in the country, a requirement Apple does not meet as its products are largely made in China. That obstacle initially appeared to have been removed for Apple last year, when India exempted retailers selling state-of-the-art goods from the rule, prompting the company to file a new application with the Indian government. However, a recommendation from the country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to allow Apple to move ahead with single-brand retail outlets was shot down by the ministry of finance, which decided Apple's products do not fall into the cutting-edge technology category. Now, the DIPP and the finance ministry appear to be open to the idea of allowing Apple to set up shop in the country without immediately complying with the 30 percent rule. This would allow the company to look at the option of manufacturing in India and begin sourcing components locally as volume increases. Apple has reportedly already informed the government that it has started buying chargers from the country, which are also being exported. "It is only fair to insist on some local production and two-three years is a reasonable period. Five years may be too long," said the Times of India source, who did not wish to be identified. The developments follow

Bollywood Star Shah Rukh Khan to be Apple's Indian Ambassador

Apple is set to make Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan its brand ambassador for India, according to a local report yesterday. Indian tech website PC Tablet cited sources familiar with the matter, claiming that the announcement will be made when Apple launches its latest iPhone models in India later this year. Tim Cook with stars Shah Rukh Khan (left) and Sania Mirza. (Source: Instagram) Apple CEO Tim Cook attended a private dinner at Khan's home during his recent weeklong visit to the country. Before the Bollywood star-studded dinner, Cook was also escorted around movie sets by the president of India's Film and TV Producers Guild, Mukesh Bhatt, who said Cook was "keen to see how Apple could partner with the Indian film industry". Apple has a number of brand ambassadors around the world, including Brazilian-born FC Barcelona soccer player Neymar and NBA player Steph Curry. Last month it was reported that Apple is close to signing England international soccer player Raheem Sterling as its figurehead of Apple's promotional work around the European Championship this

India Turns Down Apple's Request to Sell Used iPhones

In March, Apple submitted a formal request to the Indian government in relation to selling refurbished iPhones in the country. Today, however, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she is "not in favor" of accepting that proposal (via The Economic Times).On Apple's proposal to import refurbished phones and sell in India, Sitharaman said, "We would not be in favour of whatever you may call them -- used but refashioned, remodelled, updated... used goods. We are not in favour of bringing them here."The decision comes just days after the Indian government decided not to exempt Apple from a local rule requiring that 30 percent of goods sold by foreign companies be manufactured or produced within the country. India last year exempted retailers selling state-of-the-art goods from the rule, prompting Apple to file a new application in hopes of opening single-branded retail stores in India. Apple is opportunistic about increasing its presence in India, where its market share is estimated to be only around 2 percent. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who visited India earlier this month, said the country provides a "really great opportunity" for growth, particularly after sales in the U.S. and China have slowed. Apple's revenue grew 56 percent in India last quarter, passing the $1 billion mark for the first time. India has price-sensitive consumers, however, so Apple's inability to sell refurbished iPhones in the world's second most populous country may hinder it efforts to grow in the region. Cook has admitted that iPhones are too overpriced in India, compared to

Apple Not Able to Open Retail Stores in India Without Selling 30% Locally Sourced Goods

Apple's plan to open three Apple Store locations in India may fall through following a ruling from the Indian finance ministry that says Apple must sell locally sourced goods if it wants to open stores in the country, reports Reuters. In India, 30 percent of goods sold by foreign companies must be manufactured or produced in the country, a requirement Apple does not meet as its products are largely made in China. India last year exempted retailers selling state-of-the-art goods from the rule, prompting Apple to file a new application with the Indian government. Apple was expected to receive an exemption from the rule, earning a recommendation from country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, but the ministry of finance has decided Apple's products do not fall into the cutting-edge technology category. A source told Reuters Apple did not provide enough material to justify the exemption."They did ask for a waiver but didn't provide any material on record to justify it. The decision was taken only after a thorough examination of their application," the source said. The waiver is available only for investment in "state of the art" or "cutting-edge technology", he added.Without the ability to open its own retail stores in the country, Apple will need to continue selling iOS and Mac devices in India through third-party distributors. Apple is eager to expand its business in India as it is a largely untapped market. Last quarter, Apple saw its revenue from India grow 56 percent, surpassing $1 billion. The ministry of finance's ruling comes just after Tim

iOS 9 Now Supports Spotlight Suggestions in 7 More Countries

Apple this month has expanded Spotlight Suggestions to seven additional regions for compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models running iOS 9 or later. The localized feature is now supported in Hong Kong, India, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Spotlight Suggestions, such as popular contacts, frequently opened apps, nearby amenities, and local news headlines, can be found by swiping right on the home screen. Other supported regions include the U.S., U.K., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and

iPhones Too Expensive in India, Says Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that iPhones are too expensive in India, during an interview with Indian news channel NDTV on Monday, the last day of his weeklong visit to the country (via TechCrunch). According to a recent report from Deutsche Bank, India is among the most expensive places in the world to buy an iPhone. Prices there average 31 percent higher than the U.S., with only iPhones in Sweden, Indonesia, and Brazil proving more costly. NDTV's Vikram Chandra broached the subject with Cook on air. "You've got an iPhone here which is more expensive than it is in the U.S., with less functionality than it would have in the U.S., and in a country where purchasing power is a fraction of what it is in the U.S.," Chandra said. Cook acknowledged the disproportionate cost by suggesting that the iPhone was overpriced rather than too expensive. "The duties and the taxes and the compounding of those takes the price and it makes it very high. Our profitability is less in India, it's materially less — but still I recognize that prices are high," he said. "We want to do things that lower that over time, to the degree that we can," Cook continued. "I want the consumer in India to be able to buy at a price that looks like the U.S. price." Chandra's interview covered a few more topics, including how Apple saw itself investing in its Indian presence. "What we see here is talent," said Cook. "That means getting the development community moving on iOS. We're also using a lot of skills in India for maps – the maps facility will be several hundred million dollars worth of

Tim Cook Meets With India's PM Narendra Modi, Launches New App

Apple CEO Tim Cook continued his week-long visit to India today by meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss manufacturing and retail opportunities, as well as launch a new state mobile app (via The Times of India). During the meeting at the Prime Minister's official residence, Modi explained his Digital India initiative and asked Apple to support its key objectives of e-education, health, and increasing farmer's incomes. The PM also reportedly raised issues with Cook regarding cyber security and data encryption in India. Apple CEO Tim Cook meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Image: PIB) Cook took the opportunity to express his appreciation for the country's skilled younger generation and emphasized Apple's desire to tap into the talent of India's youth. Cook also commented on the potential for app development that exists in the country and highlighted the importance of the Map Development Centre that Apple is setting up in Hyderabad. In addition, Cook helped launch an updated version of the Prime Minister's 'Narendra Modi Mobile App', which aims to offer a direct channel of communication with Indian citizens as part of a broader vision for participative governance. The app contains a new feature called 'My Network', which is described as an online volunteering forum where app users can share views and ideas. Additionally, the app functions as a ministerial news service and logs the Prime Minister’s speeches, while users can also keep up with episodes of PM radio program 'Mann Ki Baat' and even write to the Prime Minister. Modi took to

Tim Cook and Lisa Jackson's India Trips Continue With Cricket Games, Bollywood Stars and 'Solar Mamas'

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Lisa P. Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, are currently in India on a multi-day trip meeting various business leaders, politicians, developers and more. Yesterday, Cook visited the famous Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai before proceeding to a series of meetings. Meanwhile, Jackson made her way to the Indian state of Rajasthan to meet the "Solar Mamas" at The Barefoot College. The Barefoot College trains rural women to assemble and manufacture solar lamps, earning the nickname "Solar Mamas", according to Yahoo India. The College connects rural communities to solar power and water. The college also uses iPads to teach the women, with Apple India having donated 20 iPads and 10 Macs earlier this year, reports The Better India. Powerful: Visiting amazing solar mamas in Rajastan and visiting a school using iPads to teach.. @BarefootCollege pic.twitter.com/3yJjIP8nsx— Lisa P. Jackson (@lisapjackson) May 19, 2016 Cook went to his first cricket game, a match from the country's Indian Premier League (IPL). Cook was interviewed on the sideline alongside IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla, with Shukla noting that the league, from professional to junior levels, uses iPads to organize matches. After noting how excited he was to be at his first cricket match, Cook once again called India "a great marketplace," saying that he's optimistic for the future of the country because of how talented its people are. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukj Khan invited Cook to a private dinner at his home, which was attended by other big

Apple to Hire 4,000 Employees in Hyderabad, India to Work on Maps Development

In line with previous rumors and confirmations, Apple today announced the opening of a new development center in Hyderabad, India focused on Apple Maps development. WaveRock campus in Hyderabad, India The new center, launched in partnership with RMSI, will employ up to 4,000 workers, with the announcement coming as part of Tim Cook's ongoing trip to China and India. “Apple is focused on making the best products and services in the world and we are thrilled to open this new office in Hyderabad which will focus on Maps development,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The talent here in the local area is incredible and we are looking forward to expanding our relationships and introducing more universities and partners to our platforms as we scale our operations.” [...] “Apple is one of the most innovative companies in the world and we are very proud they chose us to partner with for this important project,” said Anup Jindal, RMSI’s CEO. “We are experts in geospatial data and we will be hiring thousands of people from the local area to support this effort.”According to previous reports, the new center at Tishman Speyer's WaveRock campus in Hyderabad is 250,000 square feet, with Apple investing $25 million in the project. The news comes a day after Apple announced plans to open an iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bangalore, India. That center, intended to aid Indian app developers in adopting Apple's Swift programming language and help with development and one-on-one app reviews, is planned to open early next

Tim Cook Starts India Trip With Temple Visit and Meetings in Mumbai

After arriving in India from Beijing on late Tuesday night, Apple CEO Tim Cook started his five-day trip in the country with a pre-dawn visit to the famous Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on Wednesday, according to The Indian Express. Cook was accompanied by newly promoted Apple India head Sanjay Kaul. Tim Cook and Apple India head Sanjay Kaul, right (Image: The Indian Express) Cook proceeded to meet Anant Ambani, the son of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, before holding business meetings with Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry, and TCS CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran, among others, at the luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel where he is staying in Mumbai. Local media reports claim that Cook also has plans to have dinner with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan at his seaside home in Bandra, a suburb of Mumbai, and meet Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. Indian website Mid-Day reported that Cook will travel to Hyderabad, India on Thursday, where he is expected to formally announce a $25 million technology development center that will focus on Apple Maps development and house over 150 employees. The CEO is also expected to make stops in Bangalore and Delhi later this week. Great to hear from some of India's top iOS developers today. Innovative apps and many ideas for the future! pic.twitter.com/ZhEfE7wNW7— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 18, 2016 Cook is reportedly scheduled to meet India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday before wrapping up his visit. The conversation may center upon the Indian government's recent decisions to appro

Apple Announces Plans to Establish iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in India

As was rumored earlier this week, Apple today announced plans to establish a new iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bangalore, India. According to Apple, the accelerator is part of an effort to support engineering talent and boost growth in India's iOS developer community. "India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we're giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world."On a weekly basis, Apple experts plan to lead briefings and offer one-on-one app reviews for developers. The facility will also feature support and guidance to help Indian developers master Swift, Apple's programming language. Apple plans to open its iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in early 2017."This is a huge vote of confidence in India's developer community and a tremendous opportunity to gain world-class design and development expertise," said Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal. "Apple's support will help drive growth and accelerate progress among the country's vast talent pool."News of Apple's Development Accelerator comes as Apple CEO Tim Cook is making his first official visit to India, where he will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apple is also planning to open a technology development center in Hyderabad, India, where it will focus on Maps development, and rumors suggest Apple will open its first three retail stores in India over the course of the next 18

Apple to Open First Apple Stores in India Within 18 Months

Following the Indian government's approval of Apple's request to open retail stores in the country, Apple is planning to launch three stores in India over the course of the next 18 months. Apple will open Apple-branded retail stores in Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai before the end of 2017, according to a source that spoke to Indian website FactorDaily. A team of more than 40 Apple executives and employees is said to be searching for ideal real estate locations for the three stores, each of which will span more than 10,000 square feet and will be located at "high street locations." Apple is planning on investing $3-5 million per store. At the current time, Apple has no retail stores in India and instead sells its products through third-party distributors in the country. India has decided to exempt Apple from a policy that requires foreign stores to source at least 30 percent of their goods from domestic suppliers, opening the door for the first retail stores. While Apple will be able to open Apple Stores in India, a second request to import refurbished iPhones, which it could sell at lower price points, was recently denied. India, like China, is seen as a largely untapped market for Apple, and the company is eager to gain a stronger foothold in the country. In addition to retail stores, Apple is planning to open a $25 million technology development site in Hyderabad, India, which will house more than 125 employees and focus on maps development. Apple is also said to be planning to unveil a startup accelerator in India, designed to incubate ideas for new iOS

Tim Cook to Visit India This Week Following Beijing

Following his trip to Beijing, China on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook will travel to India tomorrow to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this week, according to Reuters. Cook will be making his first-ever trip to India as CEO, as Apple seeks to increase its presence in the world's most populous country after China. He is also expected to hold meetings with employees and partners in the country. It is unclear what Cook and Modi plan to discuss, but the conversation could revolve around the Indian government's recent decisions to approve single-branded Apple retail stores but deny the sale of refurbished iPhones in the country. As growth in the Greater China region begins to slow, India is becoming an increasingly important market for Apple. Last month, the iPhone maker reported that revenue has grown 56 percent in the first three months of the year, while smartphone sales are projected to grow by 25 percent in the country this year. Cook and Modi first met in the U.S. last year (Image: The Financial Express) Apple's growth in India has been dominated by lower-priced devices like the iPhone 5s, which has since been succeeded by the iPhone SE, but India's stance against Apple selling refurbished smartphones could make it more challenging for the company to grow its estimated 2 percent market share in the country. Apple recently confirmed plans to set up a $25 million technology development center in Hyderabad, which will be focused on Apple Maps development and house over 150 employees. Apple partner Foxconn is also reportedly close to reaching a deal

Foxconn Reportedly Close to Deal to Open iPhone Manufacturing Facility in India

Apple manufacturer Foxconn is close to signing a deal with the Indian government to open a manufacturing facility intended to make iPhones, reports ET Now (via AppleInsider). The project would cost $10 billion and be built on top of 1,200 acres of land in Maharashtra, India. While several other Indian states were in consideration for the plant, Foxconn chose Maharashtra, the third largest state in the country. The manufacturer hasn't yet picked a location for the facility in the state yet, but does have a couple options it's considering. Once the deal is done, ET Now reports it would take 18 months before the plant is operational. Last year, Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai revealed that Foxconn was scouting locations in the state for a manufacturing facility. Foxconn is reportedly looking to build 10 to 12 facilities in the country by 2020. The Taiwanese manufacturer has been looking to re-enter the Indian market after being forced to shut down production in the country once it lost Nokia as a client in 2014. India has increasingly become important to Apple's business, with the Cupertino company recently gaining approval to open its own retail stores in the country and announcing plans to open a $25 million facility focused on maps development in

Apple Increases iPhone SE Orders Amid Growing Sales Pressures

In line with Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent comments about "very strong" iPhone SE demand exceeding supply, the company has reportedly increased orders for the low-priced 4-inch smartphone in the second quarter of 2016. DigiTimes claims that the second-quarter outlook for iPhone SE-related chip orders has been revised to more than 5 million units, up from 3.5-4 million, and the upward trend is expected to continue through the third quarter. In a related report, the Taiwanese website notes that Apple has conversely lowered orders for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus due to declining sales of the flagship handsets. Last week, Apple announced its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, which dropped to 51.2 million from 61.2 million in the year-ago quarter, and provided third quarter guidance that suggests the decline will continue. While the lower-priced iPhone SE could help Apple combat its overall decline in smartphone sales, Apple analyst Neil Cybart of Above Avalon notes that the device has a lower average selling price (ASP) and smaller profit margins. Those pressures, alongside other warning signs, leads him to believe that Apple "has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands" right now.When looking at all of these iPhone warning signs, it is becoming clear that Apple has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands. The combination of a slowing iPhone upgrade rate and declining number of growth catalysts for expanding the iPhone's addressable market will make it very difficult for management to report unit sales growth going forward given

Indian Government Approves Single-Branded Apple Retail Stores

The Indian government is set to approve Apple's request to open its own retail stores in the country and exempt the company from its domestic sourcing policy for foreign businesses. Apple currently has no wholly-owned stores in India and sells its products through a number of distributors. Back in January, the company sent an application to the country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for approval of several planned Apple retail outlets. According to The Times of India, a committee led by DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek will this week recommend exempting Apple from a state ruling that requires single-brand foreign stores to source at least 30 percent of their goods from domestic suppliers. "The committee has found that the company's products are cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art," said sources familiar with the matter. "It has recommended to exempt them from the local sourcing norms." The source's wording is significant, since under the rule, restrictions may be waived for retailers selling "state-of-the-art" and "cutting-edge technology" if local suppliers are unavailable. Since Apple manufactures most of its products in China, the precondition had thus far been an issue for the company as it tries to make headway into the Indian retail market. Last summer, Apple announced its Authorized Mobility Resellers program in India, which focused on opening 500 retail store locations across 12 cities in the country. Apple CEO Tim Cook has praised India's business environment and stated that the company is putting more energy

Samsung Lobbies Indian Government to Deny Apple Request to Sell Used iPhones

Early last month we reported that Apple was planning to sell refurbished iPhones in India and had submitted a formal request to the country's government in order to allow it to begin importing pre-owned iPhones into the country. This morning, however, news has surfaced that major smartphone makers in the Indian market including Samsung, Karbonn, Micromax and Intex are actively opposing Apple's move on environmental grounds. According to Bloomberg, phone manufacturers argue that elevated electronic waste levels could threaten the viability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program, which promotes and encourages local manufacturing. Critics argue that destroying the phones produces toxic materials that could harm the country's precarious ecological balance, which is already struggling to deal with a massive e-waste problem. The opposition came in a letter sent to the Indian government by a lobbying group recently set up by India's Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA). In the letter, manufacturers argued that allowing the sale of used iPhones in India would not only negatively impact the environment, but it would also go against the country's importation policy. "Why even consider allowing import of used phones when import of other used goods such as cars are precluded by 300 percent duty levies?" asked Ravinder Zutshi, chairman of the newly formed Mobile and Communications Council, which issued the letter. Apple’s initial application in 2015 was rejected by the environment ministry. The company's latest

Apple Submits Application to Sell Used iPhones in India

Apple is gearing up to launch a refurbished iPhone market in India, according to a new report from The Times of India. The company is seeking permission from the Indian government to import pre-owned iPhones into the country, and has submitted a formal request to the ministry of environment and forests to begin doing so. "An application from Apple regarding import of certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India and manufacturing certified pre-owned iPhones for sale in India has been received in the ministry of environment and forests," telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Parliament of India's Rajya Sabha. Apple's attempts to set up a used iPhone program in India come after a series of recent reports that point to the company's doubling down on the smartphone market in the country. Earlier in February, Apple was said to be close to opening its own retail locations within India, after having to rely on an "Authorized Mobility Resellers" program due to the country's strict real estate and zoning laws. Around the same time, Apple confirmed its plans to open a $25 million technology development site in Hyderabad, India that will focus on maps development and house over 150 employees. The Indian government has yet to respond to Apple's newest attempt at bolstering its market share in the country, but if approved it would be the first territory with used iPhones to be sold directly from Apple.