Apple may open its signature retail stores in India, as the government is considering a two-to-three-year exemption from the 30% local sourcing of goods, Times of India reports, citing sources familiar with the discussions. Apple is said to have agreed with local sourcing as it extends its foothold in the country, as it currently controls only 2% of the Indian smartphone market.
Sources told TOI that discussions have already kicked off between the finance ministry and the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) and the option of allowing the maker of iPhone and iPads without sourcing requirements in the initial years has been floated.
The report follows earlier rumours, all of which casted doubts on Apple’s plans to open retail stores in India, as the company was seeking to have the government-mandated 30% sourcing from local vendors waived.
A two-to-three-year exemption would fit the company well, as “it was not possible to have local vendors immediately,” the sources says. However, this could change as volumes increase and Apple extends its foothold in the smartphone market, opening up the possibility of looking for manufacturing options in India and beginning to source some components from local vendors. As a first step, Apple has allegedly told the government that it has started buying some chargers from the country.
Apple is betting high on India, as Tim Cook’s remarks during the fiscal second-quarter earnings call, as well as his visit to the country and announced plans, underscore.