Apple has reportedly agreed to invest $44 million in an Indonesian research and development center, in a move most likely aimed toward opening up sales of the iPhone 7 as well as future iPhones down the line.
According to a report from 9to5Mac, the previous version of Apple’s smartphone, the iPhone 6, has been absent from Indonesian shopping malls after it failed to clear a government regulation that requires all 4G handheld devices to have at least 30 percent local content, either in hardware components, software, or investment value in the country.
Rudi Hendarwin, head of communication device standardization at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, said the government decided to grant permits to Apple after the company gave a commitment to establish a local R&D center over the next six months.
“The local content certificate has been issued for the iPhone 7 this month, so Apple can start selling the devices here,” Rudi said.
Apple will have to take ground from firmly established Android phone makers if it wants a share of the Indonesian market. Samsung has a 26 percent share in the country, followed by Oppo with 19 percent, and both of those companies offer cheaper alternatives to the iPhone in their product lineup.
The region does have a population of over 250 million people however, likely offering Apple enough room to capture at least part of the high-end smartphone market.