Tim Cook to meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Apple confirms

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook is due to meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi later this month during the latter's tour of the U.S. west coast, an Apple spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.




The spokesperson declined to say what the topic of discussion would be, according to India's Economic Times. Three sources for the newspaper indicated that the Prime Minister's Office is still in talks with Apple about an agenda.

Modi may, however, want to persuade Apple to invest in manufacturing and R&D in his country. One Times source suggested that Apple's interest may be in learning about foreign direct investment regulations, with the hope of setting up the region's first Apple Stores.

At present Apple is dependent on third-party resellers, as it doesn't even have a local online store. The company is working to rapidly expand its reseller network, with a particular emphasis on improving iPhone sales. Although iPhone numbers rose 93 percent in India during the June quarter, Apple has had difficulty making headway against Android-based phone makers, in part because phones are often sold in small independent shops that don't fit with the company's normal chain-oriented retail strategy.

In terms of R&D, Apple currently outsources some backend software development to Indian firms like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services. A local Apple-run R&D center might send more critical projects in India's direction.

Apple's main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, has pledged to spend $5 billion on Indian factories, but it's not clear if any of them will make Apple products.

During his visit, Modi is also scheduled to meet with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Interesting that this prime minister is considered right-wing. Should be quite a meeting with Cook.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Interesting that this prime minister is considered right-wing. Should be quite a meeting with Cook.



    Right-wing, West Wing, chicken wing... it's doesn't matter when there's economic investments at stake. Money is the universal wing for all politicians.

  • Reply 3 of 14
    I recently got back from India and noticed a couple of things:

    Most devices are sold through what looks like the shittiest shacks you have ever seen. very rarely did I see a name branded technology store. Stands on the side of the road with shoddy air-cell signs all over it are distributing phones and plans.

    Most Indians I saw using iPhones were (relatively) wealthy. But there was a solid even distribution between Android and Apple.

    Apple does not advertise in the country hardly at all. I never saw an Apple TV ad. I did see one iPhone ad on a billboard near the Bangalore airport. Inside the airport were a couple of rolling billboards with apple logos on them.

    Never saw an Apple store, nor a place where one would fit in. India has some of the worst infrastructure I have ever seen, with even nice areas having dirt sidewalks, trash piles on the side of the road, and very old roads. Im sure there are plenty of nice parts that have very modern infrastructure, but the vast majority of places don't.

    It will be hard to sell the concept of an iPhone in a country where proper sewage disposal, trash collection, and clean water are a rarity. India poses a big opportunity, but it will be hard to make inroads. Only the wealthy will have an iPhone. Middle class is not a term used often in India.

    Funny though, I saw so many hotels and make-shift hospitals with the Apple logo, so there are plenty of people who associate Apple with quality. For now, I only see major cities being the recipients of Apple investment, namely Delhi and Bangalore, maybe Chennai. But right now Apple realizes it will be very hard to establish a premium brand in place that values "just good enough" on a large, generalized scale.

    I did meet an iCloud developer in the Chennai airport through, so that was cool.

    My guess is part of this meeting will involve a play by WiPro and Infosys to nail down contracts.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Interesting that this prime minister is considered right-wing. Should be quite a meeting with Cook.

     

    Trust me. The Indian version of 'right wing' is actually left-er than the US 'left wing'. And the indian left wing is just a thinly disguised communists.

  • Reply 5 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,392member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Interesting that this prime minister is considered right-wing. Should be quite a meeting with Cook.

     

    All of that is for domestic consumption only. Nothing matters to these guys but money. Tim Cook is meeting Modi for two reasons. India is Apple’s next big thing in terms of both sales and cheap labor. And where does Apple go for cheap labor after India rises like China is doing? Why back to the U.S. of course. By that time there will millions of jobless Americans willing to work and live in factory campuses like Foxconn. What goes around comes around.

  • Reply 6 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

     

    All of that is for domestic consumption only. Nothing matters to these guys but money. Tim Cook is meeting Modi for two reasons. India is Apple’s next big thing in terms of both sales and cheap labor. And where does Apple go for cheap labor after India rises like China is doing? Why back to the U.S. of course. By that time there will millions of jobless Americans willing to work and live in factory campuses like Foxconn. What goes around comes around.




    We still have  a few years of blaming immigrants and other people for our problems while ignoring that we are in a world economy, and no longer in post WW2 era of no competition from a decimated Europe.

  • Reply 7 of 14

    I think this will be mostly about Foxconn from India's side (who they are, what it is like to deal/negotiate with them, whether Apple will consider using Foxconn in India as a manufacturing/assembly base for global and not just Indian sales), and retail from Apple's side (whether Apple can set up shop on its own and not be required to collaborate some crooked family-run businesses as many multinationals are, price/distribute the product on in its own terms, and will have the government's blessing for negotiations with India's telecom firms).

     

    I think Apple should set him up with a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Watch (heck, give it to the whole office of PM; after all, it's tiny investment), and three years of AppleCare (he'll last at least that long!). There'll be no looking back.

  • Reply 8 of 14
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    I think Apple should set him up with a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Watch (heck, give it to the whole office of PM; after all, it's tiny investment), and three years of AppleCare (he'll last at least that long!). There'll be no looking back.


    Is that bribery?

  • Reply 9 of 14
    mstone wrote: »
     
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">I think Apple should set him up with a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Watch (heck, give it to the whole office of PM; after all, it's tiny investment), and three years of AppleCare (he'll last at least that long!). There'll be no looking back.</span>
    Is that bribery?

    I am no expert on India law, but surely if it's given to the office - as I suggested -- and not the individual (i.e., he doesn't get to take it with him when he leaves office) I doubt it will be a problem.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post





    I am no expert on India law, but surely if it's given to the office - as I suggested -- and not the individual (i.e., he doesn't get to take it with him when he leaves office) I doubt it will be a problem.



    I don't know either. Even if it is not technically illegal, it could be a perception that they might want to avoid.

     

    I tried to give my local police station a dozen or so coffee cards as appreciation for watching my home for a couple months while I was away and they refused to accept them. They have a free program where retired cops drive by your house a few times a day to check the property. They really inspect it too, front and back and sign off on a report, not just a drive by. 

  • Reply 12 of 14
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    I think most foreign companies would think four times before investing in India given Nokia and Microsoft's experience with what would seem to be an over zealous tax office.  On top of that is the ridiculous situation of an outstanding arrest warrant for the chairman of Samsung, Lee Kun-hee over some spat between an Indian firm and a Samsung office in Dubai.  Then there is the arrest warrant for the CEO of Porsche and eight board members.

     

    These sorts of things don't inspire confidence.

  • Reply 13 of 14
    I recently got back from India and noticed a couple of things:

    Most devices are sold through what looks like the shittiest shacks you have ever seen
    But surely you noticed fairly nice Samsung shops on every shopping street. Apple needs to at least emulate these resellers.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Huh, The New Government in India under Mr. Modi is struggling hard to show some output after 1.5 yrs of rule and huge election promises.

    What most politicians like Modi and Even in US fail to realize is that, china is a manufacturing hub not just because of cheap labour.

    Some of the most important Raw materials the "Rare earth metals" are in Abundance in china, the entire series of "Lanthanide and Actinide series" in the periodic table are rare earth metals, and china has the highest occurrence of these metals compared to anywhere in the world.

    Which makes china the best place to manufacture a lot of semiconductors, but thats not it, china has invested heavily the past 30yrs or so in capacity building, to the point that this yr china might see a slowdown, due to access capacity building.

    India at this point in time cannot match the Infrastructure capacity of China it would atleast take India 20 yrs to be at par with current dates china, that is if they work really hard and build necessary infrastructure continuously for the next 20 yrs.

    Thus i believe Apple isnt moving out of China anytime soon. Because if it were the case Mr. Cook would have already done it by now. China is the world manufacturer, so this talk may not materialize to much other than opening India's first Apple Store.
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