Apple’s long struggle to open a retail store in India isn’t over yet. The iPhone-maker had planned to throw open the doors of a brick-and-mortar location in Mumbai in 2021, but it’s now reportedly been delayed by COVID-19.
Customs officials have seized around 80 iPhones being smuggled through Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, India. The devices included various iPhone 12 models, including the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. They also arrested two passengers who owned the checked-in luggage, and another person reportedly involved in the smuggling.
Apple’s Support Twitter page notes that “We appreciate your interest. Dolby Atmos on Apple Music will be coming to India soon. Keep an eye out here.” Meanwhile, the Apple Music page for India also makes mention of the feature. No official launch date has yet been announced.
Production on iPhones made in India has hit a major hurdle as coronavirus cases have surged in the country. More than 50% of one Foxconn factory’s production capacity has reportedly been cut.
India has seen its number of coronavirus cases ramping up significantly in April. To date, there have been 22.9 million confirmed cases of COVID in India, while 249,992 people have reportedly died. However, the actual numbers are thought to be even higher.
Apple is donating money to support relief efforts in India as the country grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEO Tim Cook said.
“Amid a devastating rise of COVID cases in India, our thoughts are with the medical workers, our Apple family and everyone there who is fighting through this awful stage of the pandemic,” Cook wrote in a tweet sent to his 12.8 million Twitter followers.
Apple contract manufacturer Wistron has reopened the iPhone factory in Karnataka, southern India. The factory was temporarily closed late last year after riots broke out over unpaid wages.
According to the Economic Times, it is currently operating with a reduced workforce of around 6,000 people. This is around half the number that it had late last year. Wistron will reportedly gradually scale back up the numbers.