Tim Cook met with the prime minister of India over the weekend, concerning permission to open official Apple stores in the country.
This is something Apple has been chasing for some time now, but has yet to get off the ground. However, with Apple now officially selling iPhones that have been made in India, the hope is that it has sufficient leverage to get permission to open retail stores.
The meeting took place on Sunday at a business summit in Washington. During the meeting, Cook claimed that Apple wants its Indian operations to be run entirely using renewable energy within the next six months. He also pointed out that Apple has created 740,000 jobs in India through its “app economy,” and that Indian developers had created close to 100,000 apps for the App Store.
Other investments Apple has made in India include spending $25 million on a new office complex in India, as well as a brand new local office dedicated to Apple Maps. Between them, these projects will create thousands more jobs in the country.
Indian Apple stores
As noted, Apple’s dream of opening Apple stores in India isn’t new. Early last year, Apple made clear its intentions to open a major Indian flagship store, with a design reminiscent of the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York. At present, Apple still sells it products exclusively through premium resellers operating on a franchise model.
Due to the number of vendors in the country offering low-end, more affordable devices, Apple currently holds just 3 percent of the Indian smartphone market.
The past holdup with Apple stores appears to have been laws stating that companies which open shop in India need to produce a significant percentage of their products in the country. Now that Apple has started shifting manufacturing of its single biggest product to India, hopefully the project may finally gain momentum.
Then again, based on how long this has been going on, we’re not expecting things to change overnight.
This month, Apple entered a new country with its Apple stores with the announced of the company’s first store in Taiwan. Its new store is located in the Taipei 101 skyscraper, the iconic supertall skyscraper in Xinyi District, Taipei, which was the world’s tallest building until it was overtaken by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2009.