Apple CEO Tim Cook has reaffirmed his commitment towards India in the wake of falling iPhone sales across the globe. The company is having a tough go of it this year, reporting a 15% year-on-year decline in the number of units shifted.
India is one of the few bright spots for the brand. iPhone sales saw a 51% rise year-on-year in first three quarters of the current fiscal year, making the nation one of the brand’s fastest growing markets. Tim Cook went on to confirm that it’s looking forward to opening retail stores here down the road and stated that he sees huge potential in the vibrant country.
Talk of wholly-owned Apple retail outlets in India has been around for quite a long time now. Two sources familiar with the matter claim that the handset maker is currently in the process of evaluating the new norms which were introduced by the government last month. Cook’s statement is apparently just a long-term intent rather than something which could happen soon.
Apple is still stuck in negotiations with the government, trying to hammer out issues such as local-sourcing norms and other technicalities. The new rules may have actually made things worse for the company. According to the previous system, foreign companies could get a waiver for local sourcing if they sold products which were cutting-edge and state-of-the-art technology.
However, the new norms only permit a 3-year exemption. Post that, 30% of the average value of goods has to be obtained locally. Previous reports had claimed that Apple was looking to set up high-end flagship stores across India, on the level of its famous Fifth Avenue outlet in New York.