In an analyst conference call after announcing Apple’s third quarter result recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook said India has become one of the most important markets for Apple and the company is looking forward to open its company owned stores in India.
Cook said: “We’re looking forward to opening retail stores in India down the road, and we see huge potential for that vibrant country.”
Though Apple’s plan to open stores in India has been talked about for sometime now, the remark looks significant since Apple was studying the changes in single brand retail norms, announced last month by the Government.
Under the modified single brand FDI policy, companies using cutting-edge technology will be exempted from meeting the local sourcing norm for first three years. Thereafter, in the next five years the company will have to meet the domestic sourcing norm at an annualised average rate of 30 per cent.
Apple has been lobbying hard for the exemption from the mandatory 30 per cent local sourcing on the grounds that its products have such high-end technology and were therefore could not be sourced locally here.
During the call, Cook said India is now one of the fastest growing markets for Apple.
“In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, our iPhone sales in India were up 51 per cent year on year,” Cook said. He updated analysts that he was encouraged by the growth prospects in India and China during his visit during the quarter.
Apple continued to report double digit growth in iPhone sales during the quarter in its key markets which included India along with Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Canada and Sweden. The company also reported “healthy growth” in revenue a number of markets which included India, Russia, Brazil, Trukey and Canada.