Apple Faces Issues Opening Stores in India

Apparently, Tim Cook’s visit to India wasn’t enough to pave the way for the opening of its signature retail stores, reports Bloomberg. Sources familiar with the matter have whispered that India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board has ruled that if Apple wants to sell products through its own stores, it must procure 30% of the components locally.

Plaza behind store

The catch is that Apple has most of its products made in China, so meeting that “Made in India” criteria seems unlikely, the report suggests. Interestingly, the ruling came after Tim Cook’s visit to the country, although the India Foreign Investment Promotion Board decision needs to be ratified by the government, which leaves room for hope for Apple.

“The stores are a very important piece in Apple’s brand-building strategy in India,” said Ankur Bisen, senior vice president of retail and consumer products at retail consultancy, Technopak Advisors. “They will help bring the brand alive to customers.”

Last week Apple announced that it has major plans for India: It’s opening a Maps development office, creating jobs for 4,000 people, and by early 2017 another facility focusing on iOS and app development will open in the country.

Earlier in the Q2 earnings call, Cook likened India to China a decade ago, and stressed that there is great opportunity there. Currently, Apple controls only 2% of a smartphone market which saw the sale of 100 million smartphone units last year.

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