Apple has finally realised the importance of India, with the US technology giant eager to ‘Make in India’. But, has Apple really woken up to the sales potential of India? If ‘Make in India’ makes sense for Apple, why shouldn’t ‘Launch First in India’ be a reality too? Apple iPhone 7 is expected to be unveiled today at an event by the Cupertino-based giant. Apple’s launch events tend to create a global buzz, and the offerings are often eagerly awaited, India being no exception. However, Apple fans in India have always been made to wait for at least three to four months, before the company launches its latest iPhones, iPads and other products in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook visited India in May when the company announced setting up its first iOS App Design and Development Centre in Bengaluru. Cook also inaugurated a new office in Hyderabad that will focus on the development of Maps for products like iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. But more importantly, Cook met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who invited the Apple CEO to ‘Make in India’. In a boost for Apple, the Modi government recently eased sourcing norms for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in single-brand retail. The government announced relaxing local sourcing norms up to three years and a relaxed sourcing regime for another five years for entities undertaking single brand retail trading of products having ‘state-of-art’ and ‘cutting edge’ technology. This clears the way for Apple to open its stores in India.
In a recent investors’ call, Cook had said that he looks forward to setting up retail stores in India. “India is now one of our fastest growing markets. In the first three-quarters of this fiscal year, our iPhone sales in India were up 51% year-on-year,” Cook said. If that’s the case, Tim, then we believe that it’s time Apple sends the right message to its fans in India, that they are indeed important for the company’s growth.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the iPhone 7 would come to India sometime around December. If that’s true, it would be a bad move! Festive season begins from October in India. There is no better time to launch the new iPhone in India than the coming month. It would also send the right signal to the investors of the growing importance of Indian market for Apple.