Apple could double or triple its investments and exports in India in the coming years: Rajeev Chandrasekhar
US tech giant Apple could double or triple its investment in India, as well as its exports, over the next few years, a minister has said, as the company opened a second store in the world’s biggest smartphone market after the China.
Apple primarily assembles iPhones in India through Taiwanese contractors, but plans to expand into iPads and AirPods as it seeks to reduce its reliance on China.
Its iPhones accounted for more than half of the total smartphones worth around $9 billion (about Rs 74,000 crore) exported from India between April 2022 and February, according to data from India Cellular and Electronics. Association.
“I am very confident that this Apple-India partnership offers great scope for investment, growth, exports and jobs – doubling and tripling over the next few years,” Deputy Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Reuters. information technologies.
His comments came after a meeting on Wednesday with Apple chief executive Tim Cook in the capital, New Delhi.
Cook, who also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Apple was “committed to growing and investing across the country.”
He inaugurated an Apple store in New Delhi on Thursday two days after opening his first outlet in Mumbai, the commercial capital.
“We only came here to see Tim Cook,” said Manika Mehta, 32, an Android phone user who queued at the Delhi store.
Around 500 people had gathered for Cook’s brief appearance, during which he spoke to fans and took selfies, like in Mumbai.
“My heart was skipping a beat,” said Reeti Sahai, 45, after taking a selfie. “I’m addicted to Apple. I’m drawn to Tim Cook, seeing the man he is and the journey.”
Cook’s visit received wide media coverage and he was celebrated like a Bollywood star, with some people trying to touch his feet in a traditional gesture of respect, while others asked for his autograph .
Apple has previously faced obstacles opening physical retail stores in the South Asian nation, but its products were available on e-commerce websites, while its online store opened in 2020.
The new stores are opening as Indian consumers increasingly look to upgrade their devices to glitzier models with richer feature sets, from budget versions that typically cost less than $120 (around Rs. 9 900).
Yet Apple’s expensive phones are only affordable to a few in India, where it only has a 3% market share.
Apple has been trying to make India a bigger manufacturing base. Its products, including iPhones, are assembled in India by contract electronics makers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.
In January, India’s trade minister said Apple wanted the country to account for up to 25% of its production, up from around 5-7% currently.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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