Apple CEO Cook meets PM Modi, eyes deeper access to Indian market

PM of India Narendra Modi, looking dapper, in a handshake with Tim Cook CEO Apple Photo courtesy:
PM of India Narendra Modi, looking dapper, in a handshake with Tim Cook CEO Apple Photo courtesy:

In a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook highlighted the economic impact the company is having on India.

The tech giant is eyeing deeper access to the world's third-largest smartphone market behind the United States and China. It has marked the Indian market as a potential revenue source after its sales in China slipped 14 percent in the most recent quarter.

Apple has asked Indian government officials for a range of tax and policy changes to help build out its iPhone assembly work in the country, Reuters said in a report on June 27, 2017. Apple currently sells iPhones through resellers in India and is now seeking permission to open its own retail stores in the country. 

Their discussion happened at a business summit in Washington, in which, Modi talked with Cook and other U.S. corporate leaders ahead of a meeting with President Donald Trump. 

Cook had reiterated that Apple had generated 740,000 jobs in India through its "app economy" and Indian developers had created nearly 100,000 apps for the App Store, a source told Reuters. Apple also expected its Indian operations to be run completely from renewable energy within the next six months.

Apple had began assembling the iPhone SE in Bengaluru last month with contract manufacturer Winstron. The company had been offerered tax concessions by the Indian authorities for the work – the catch is that more local components be used over time.

While Apple has not disclosed how much revenue it generates in India, it said that sales grew by "strong double digits" there in the most recent quarter. "We have a ton of energy going into the country on a number of fronts," Cook told analysts about Apple's efforts in India during the company's most recent earnings call. "We believe, particularly now that the 4G infrastructure is going in the country and it's continuing to be expanded, there is a huge opportunity for Apple there."