Apple CEO Tim Cook is planning to visit India after his trip to China and reportedly will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the week.
Cook was scheduled to meet with high-level Chinese officials in Beijing yesterday and today. The visit comes as the company faces a number of obstacles in the mainland as well as slowing iPhone growth globally.
But Apple is also facing difficulties in India, where it currently has no branded retail stores and sells its devices through third-party resellers. Earlier in the month Indian authorities rejected Apple’s requests to sell used iPhones in India.
Apple is pushing the Indian government to relax its domestic sourcing requirement if it receives approval to open single-brand retail stores. The company last month put its case to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on why its products should be exempt from local sourcing rules. The country’s local sourcing law requires foreign firms with single-brand outlets to source 30 per cent of the sales value of the components from India within five years of starting operations.
India, the third largest smartphone market in the world, is now a vital market for Apple, which last quarter posted its first ever drop in iPhone sales since the device was launched in 2007. India was the one bright spot in its otherwise poor results in fiscal Q2, with local iPhone sales up 56 per cent in the quarter.
The largely untapped Indian market continued to buck the global smartphone slowdown, expanding 23 per cent in Q1, according to Counterpoint Research. The country’s smartphone shipments also grew 23 per cent last year to more than 100 million units.
Cook is expected to arrive in India later today and meet Modi on Saturday. He reportedly will announce the opening of three Apple stores as well as a startup incubator to develop iOS applications.
The CEO also is scheduled to meet with Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal and senior executives at Reliance Industries, the Economic Times reported.