The year 2016 started off on a promising note for Apple. During his maiden visit to India, Mr. Tim Cook, the chief executive officer, announced the setting up of an app development centre in Bengaluru and another one in Hyderabad for maps. The news has now been confirmed officially. The facility will start production from next April, according to industry sources.
Mr. Cook met the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi earlier this year and discussed sensitive issues relating to cyber-security, data encryption, the possibility of fabricating the production in the country and extracting India’s young talent. The Apple CEO appreciated the breadth of young talent in India with significant skills that Apple would like to acquire and the immense potential for ‘app-development’ in the country.
Informants in the company confirmed that Apple is bound and determined to begin the assembly operations and hence full manufacture is set to begin by the end of next year. A year ago, Apple had sought government permission to import and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India which had eventually been turned down by the government.
Indians pay more than the rest of Asia for Apple’s products. For instance, the iPhone 7 costs nearly $200 more in India, compared to Japan. Hence local manufacturing will make Apple products cheaper as imported goods have a 12.5 per cent duty on it making the products more competitive in the Indian market, where it already enjoys a good market share in the top-end price brackets.
Currently Apple has no wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.