Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet

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Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Apple has rolled out HomePod in a new market.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple has reduced the price of HomePod to $280, a further reduction on the $349 it charged initially for its smart speaker. Unfortunately, you’ll have to be living in India to take advantage of it.

Having released the HomePod in 2018 in the United States, Apple has finally launched it in India. This heavily populated market is comparable in size to China. However, Apple has not yet been able to make too many inroads in terms of sales.

First Apple Store in India might not open this year

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India Apple Stores
Until real Apple Stores open in India, this is what customers have to use instead.
Photo: Lawrence Sinclair/Flickr CC

Apple’s first retail store in India reportedly won‘t open in time for the launch of the 2020 iPhone. And even online sales allegedly won’t begin until the second half of this year.

There have supposedly been problems in Apple’s efforts to begin selling iPhones and other devices directly to consumers in India.

Things are looking up for iPhone in Apple’s biggest untapped market

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iPhone sales are showing signs of life in India
iPhone shipments rebounded in India last year.
Photo: Apple

There are few big markets that Apple has yet to crack. But one of the biggest, India, it’s really struggled with. In a population of more than 1.311 billion people, Apple holds just a few measly percentage points of the local smartphone market.

But things may be looking up slightly, as a new report makes clear.

Apple supplier is increasing its ability to build masses of iPhones in India

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Apple supplier is increasing its ability to build masses of iPhones in India
India is a growing market for Apple as both manufacturer and vendor.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple contract manufacturer Wistron is reportedly ramping up its iPhone production abilities in India. Wistron already has two plants located in Bengaluru, which have been producing iPhones for the local market. But now it’s got a third, located in Narasapura, which will also build phones for Apple.

This will greatly increase Wistron’s abilities to build large quantities of iPhones for Apple.

India may offer subsidized loans to win Apple manufacturing bids

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Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work
India has big plans for being a smartphone manufacturing hub in the coming years.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

India wants to woo Apple suppliers into opening factories in the country. To that end, it may offer attractive subsidized loans to make it more appealing.

The proposals by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology may be part of a new federal budget for February. Alongside the subsidized loans for opening factories, it would also cover “industrial zones equipped with taxation and customs clearance.”

Apple asked to provide iPhone evidence in college campus attack investigation

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Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work
Apple is one of the tech companies named in petition.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is among the parties named in a notice issued by the Delhi High Court, regarding evidence concerning a recent assault on a campus at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Apple is being asked to hand over user data that may include messages, pictures, video, and more. In other words, this sounds like another potential privacy headache for Apple.

Apple TV+ series Shantaram seeks film incentives in India

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Apple TV+ series Shantaram seeking incentives in India
Coming to Apple TV+ soon.
Photo: St. Martin's Griffin

When India launches an incentive program to lure production companies to make movies in the country, Apple apparently wants in. According to a new report, upcoming Apple TV+ series Shantaram might become “one of the first major foreign productions to tap into the country’s impending film incentives scheme.”

Apple will expand operations in India to make more products

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Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work
Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will assemble more products in India after expanding its local manufacturing operations.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s information technology minister, today confirmed the move will create around 10,000 new jobs over the next five years.

First Indian Apple Store will open in Mumbai mall

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Apple's first Indian Apple Store will be located in Mumbai mall
Apple will no longer have to make do with selling through resellers.
Photo: Lawrence Sinclair/Flickr CC

Apple has reportedly selected the location for its first Apple Store in India. The store will be located in Maker Maxity mall in Mumbai, India’s most populous city with a population of around 18 million.

Cupertino is aiming for a September 2020 opening for the Mumbai Apple Store. That’s around the time Apple should release the next-gen iPhone.