Apple registers big growth in India: CEO

Tim Cook seeks stronger local presence

Apple registers big growth in India: CEO

Bolstered by the double-digit growth during the first quarter in India, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Wednesday said the company is going ahead with its plan to strengthen its local presence across the country.

“We continue to strengthen our local presence across the entire ecosystem, and we’re very optimistic about our future in this remarkable country with its very large, young, and tech-savvy population, fast-growing economy, and improving 4G network infrastructure,” Cook said during the first quarter earning call.

The California-based company said its revenue for the March quarter is $52.9 billion. “Our growth rates were even higher, over 20% in many other markets, including Brazil, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Korea and Thailand,” he said.

Even though Cook said he is not ready for the geographic specific forecast, he pointed out that Apple has began to give more information about India and investment game plan. “We have a tonne of energy going into the country on a number of fronts, and it is the third largest smartphone market in the world today behind China and the US,” he said.

Cook also emphasised that the 4G network investment began rolling in in a significant way toward the last quarter of last year in India. “And so we believe, particularly now that the 4G infrastructure is going in the country, and is continuing to be expanded. And so that and the demographics of the country is why we’re putting so much energy there,” he said.

While the revenue from services this quarter was $7.04 billion, which represents 18% growth year-over-year for the category, the company sold 50.8 million iPhones compared with 51.19 million in the same period last year, registering a degrowth of 1% in the same period a year ago. International sales accounted for 65% of the quarter’s revenue.

Karnataka awaits formal announcement

Even though Apple CEO announced about strengthening its local presence in the country, Karnataka government is awaiting for its formal announcement of the assembly unit. While Apple announced its hiring plans, its global supplier Wistron has already announced its decision to brace up for production in Bengaluru.

According to a state government official, the Apple assembly plant’s operation is a matter of getting solid tax clearance. “The company is looking at the GST rollout so that it can reap maximum benefit. The first phase will be only an assembly unit, and will have limited investment,” said the official. “The second phase of Apple investment will bring sizeable investment along with its partner ecosystem. The state government is ready to give all requisite support for Apple to begin its operation,” added the official.

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