Apple clashes with Indian government over iPhone security demands

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Apple supplier is increasing its ability to build masses of iPhones in India
Apple's hit another big roadblock in India.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is trying its darndest to grow its brand in India but, just like Apple’s troubles in China, it seems to be running into problems with the government.

According to a new report, the Indian government is currently trying to force foreign smartphone makers — Apple included — to bake in Indian-developed biometric technology, designed to allow users to access a range of public and private services, such as banking.

And Apple’s none too happy about it!

The initiative is reportedly part of a national biometric identity program called Aadhaar, which lets millions of Indian citizens use fingerprint and iris-scanning tech to tap into their personal profiles.

However, Apple is said to not be willing to open up its iPhone and operating system to India’s encryption and security officials. In fact, the company didn’t even turn up at a meeting with the Indian government, attended by executives from Samsung and Google, to discuss the matter.

It’s just the latest in a series of hurdles Apple has had to leap as it tries to gain more of a foothold in India.

Tim Cook visited India for the first time back in May, during which time he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apple has also announced its plans to invest $25 million in a new office complex in India, while additionally planning to open a new office in Indian tech hub Hyderabad that will focus on improving Apple Maps.

But despite this investment, the company has had to battle for the rights to open official Apple Stores in India, while a plan to import used iPhones into the country was shot down by a group of rival handset makers, who were concerned such a move would damage local manufacturing, hurt recycling, and damage their own businesses of selling cheap phones.

In all, it’s highly reminiscent of another attempt by Apple to grow its market share in another populous, but developing economy in the form of China — where Apple has been subject to various wacky legal battles, and even been forced to shut down its iBookstore and iTunes Movies.

Sometimes, Tim Cook and pals must just wonder why they bother! (Aside from the billions of dollars Apple stands to make, that is…)

Source: Times of India