Apple is betting high on India, as it sees a huge opportunity there, so it plans to expand its retail presence in a country where 100 million smartphones were sold last year alone. The iPhone accounted for only 2% of those, according to reports.
While India can provide waivers for retailers selling high-end tech goods, Apple’s products didn’t fit into that category, an anonymous official informed Reuters. The waiver is available only for investment in “state of the art” or “cutting-edge technology”, the source added, according to Reuters. The decision of the finance ministry has not yet been made public.
“They did ask for a waiver but didn’t provide any material on record to justify it. The decision was taken only after a thorough examination of their application,” the source said.
As previously reported, Apple has plans to open at least three retail stores in India by the end of 2017. Tim Cook enjoyed a four-day visit to the country last week, during which he had discussions with representatives of telecom companies and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Cook’s visit to India was seasoned with two major announcements: the opening of the Maps development office, and the plan to open an iOS app development centre as early as next year.