Apple working to bring entire product line to India, Tim Cook says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook continued a tour of India on Friday, granting a one-on-one interview with a local television network that offered a bit more insight into the company's ambitions for the developing market.


Apple CEO Tim Cook visits the Mac lab at GNITS women's college in India. | Source: Tim Cook via Twitter


Speaking with NDTV's Vikram Chandra, Cook hit many of the same talking points covered in an interview published by The Hindu earlier today. With 40 minutes of onscreen time, however, the Apple chief was able to speak at length about key initiatives planned for India, including a "holistic" effort to bring all current Apple products and services to the massive Asian market.

During his limited time in the country, Cook said he learned a great deal about India's business and culture, two key elements Apple must understand if it hopes to gain a foothold in the region. Specifically, Apple's multi-pronged approach involves comprehensive evaluations of government operations, consumer culture, media, services, technical talent and more. This includes investments like a recently announced iOS design and development center in Bengaluru and a Maps development facility in Hyderabad.

He added that cultivating the Indian market is a top-five priority for Apple. There has been concern on Wall Street that Apple faces a tough road ahead in China, a major market Apple itself expects will one day be its largest, prompting speculation that the iPhone maker plans to ratchet up efforts in India. Given Cook's statements, it seems those rumors hold water.

Apple is in ongoing talks with regional wireless carriers, government agencies and corporations over future initiatives in the country. It is eyeing what appears to be an aggressive expansion in hardware, retail sales, internet services and more, but must first arrange appropriate regulatory approvals and private sector partnerships.

There are obstacles standing in the way of progress, however. For instance, Apple has yet to gain approval for importing and selling preowned iPhones, a key strategy in introducing customers to the iOS ecosystem. Indian consumers are used to purchasing low- to mid-tier handsets, meaning iPhone might be a tough sell amid competition from the like of Samsung. Cook voiced his optimism in the process, adding that Apple's lineup will appeal to both current and future buyers.

A clip of the interview was posted to YouTube today.



Other themes were discussed, like whether Apple would consider modifying its brand, pricing or devices to better fit Indian culture. Chandra asked if Cook would consider releasing an iPhone designed specifically for India, for example.

Cook believes Apple's brand identity -- a California tech company with global reach -- is a strong asset, and while that won't change anytime soon, the company is investigating how to better market its products to the Indian demographic. To that end, Apple is working on competitive price tiers for iPhone, a buildout of its internet services ecosystem and the introduction of Apple Store, among other resources, he said.

Cook is expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend as his India tour comes to a close.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,903member
    Cook is likely making an incredibly positive impact for Apple in India. People in India will remember this trip for a very long time, the fact that he's there with other top managers from the company, spending as many days as they all are, interacting with a wide range of audiences from top to bottom, and being open with the media. 

    All of of this will come back as excellent karma for Apple in the long haul. As usual, Wall Street will wake up to this too late.

    (Add: I highly recommend watching the full NDTV interview. If you don't have 40 minutes to spare, at least watch the last 12 mins or so -- really interesting stuff). 
    edited May 2016 digital_guypotatoleeksoupbaconstangpropodirelandtrashman69patchythepiratestevehairbubblejony0
  • Reply 2 of 17
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    Tim Cook: Please India please let us sell certified pre-owned phones in your country.
    kermit4krazy
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Tim Cook: Please India please let us sell certified pre-owned phones in your country.

    Oh it runs much deeper than that. This is about courting software development communities around the world. Lots of free kit and free advice to make sure that their skills are honed on Apple kit. 

    They will also be looking to reduce their reliance on China, or at least I hope they are.

    edited May 2016
  • Reply 4 of 17
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,780member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Tim Cook: Please India please let us sell certified pre-owned phones in your country.

    Oh it runs much deeper than that. This is about courting software development communities around the world. Lots of free kit and free advice to make sure that their skills are honed on Apple kit. 

    They will also be looking to reduce their reliance on China, or at least I hope they are.

    If Google I/O 2016 is anything to go by, the future platform is Cloud / AI / ML.  Apple's kit may not matter if it cannot excel in these areas.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 207member
    Apple need to improve its international Roll out of services. Apple iTunes Radio never went international, Apple Pay remains MIA in most countries, including their key european countries (except for the UK)
    propod
  • Reply 6 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 17,538member
    Always impressive Tim. Passionate, confident, thoughtful, humble.

    Interesting tidbit learned from this video. Apple are not investing $25M into Maps in India, but rather as Tim stated "several hundred million dollars."
    edited May 2016 trashman69patchythepiratejony0
  • Reply 7 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 17,538member

    (Add: I highly recommend watching the full NDTV interview. If you don't have 40 minutes to spare, at least watch the last 12 mins or so -- really interesting stuff). 
    Edit
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 8 of 17
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,903member
    ireland said:
    Always impressive Tim. Passionate, confident, thoughtful, humble.

    Interesting tidbit learned from this video. Apple are not investing $25M into Maps in India, but rather as Tim stated "several hundred million dollars."
    Another interesting tidbit -- unless he misspoke -- was the mention of the use of the Pencil with the phone (not just the iPad). Anyone catch that?
  • Reply 9 of 17
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    ireland said:
    Always impressive Tim. Passionate, confident, thoughtful, humble.

    Interesting tidbit learned from this video. Apple are not investing $25M into Maps in India, but rather as Tim stated "several hundred million dollars."
    Another interesting tidbit -- unless he misspoke -- was the mention of the use of the Pencil with the phone (not just the iPad). Anyone catch that?
    So we're getting an iPhone Note this fall? ;)
  • Reply 10 of 17
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,374member
    I just hope that Apple can maintain respect for each country's unique cultures and not try to "Americanize" India. That's probably my only concern.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Another interesting tidbit -- unless he misspoke -- was the mention of the use of the Pencil with the phone (not just the iPad). Anyone catch that?
    So we're getting an iPhone Note this fall? ;)
    They'd be crazy not to use expand the pen compatible apps into the phone (it will bolster their pro line for sure) so I guess we'll have it soon.
    That super pen is part of keeping people into the ecosystem.

    Only thing preventing it last year was probably the inclusion of 3D touch which for a phone, especially the smaller ones, is more useful
    and the pen wasn't out yet so it would have made no sense then to include this function.
    Considering they had trouble producing enough pens initially, waiting for production kinks to be fixed also made sense.

    The Ipad pen is in no way "like the note pen". Not even in the same league and they are certainly not giving it away.

    The pen is a lot bigger though which is not practical for a thing like a phone, so wonder if they're going to make a smaller one with a restricted set of features?
    Or have the features of the current big one miniaturized and have a V2 big pen with even more functionality (rumored to be able to be used without a phone as input) released in September.

  • Reply 12 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 17,538member
    ireland said:
    Always impressive Tim. Passionate, confident, thoughtful, humble.

    Interesting tidbit learned from this video. Apple are not investing $25M into Maps in India, but rather as Tim stated "several hundred million dollars."
    Another interesting tidbit -- unless he misspoke -- was the mention of the use of the Pencil with the phone (not just the iPad). Anyone catch that?
    Yeah that was a him misspeaking.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ireland said:
    Another interesting tidbit -- unless he misspoke -- was the mention of the use of the Pencil with the phone (not just the iPad). Anyone catch that?
    Yeah that was a him misspeaking.
    Or maybe a lapsus :-). I do think that that at least the big phone will eventually be pen compatible (splitting the big phone into a pro line ?) cause it makes a lot less sense for the small one.
    If they keep the mini, I can see also a pro version of it coming out too.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 14 of 17
    I just hope that Apple can maintain respect for each country's unique cultures and not try to "Americanize" India. That's probably my only concern.
    I don't really get this concern. Do you have an example of Apple trying to "Americanize" another culture? Apple has never been an "American" company, i.e., like Ford or Chevy—they play heavily on American image and culture, but I've never seen Apple do anything that plays to American nationalism or patriotism. They've just been a technology company that happens to have their headquarters in the US. More than that, even their voice recognition software has been designed to take different languages and even accents into account.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,903member
    I just hope that Apple can maintain respect for each country's unique cultures and not try to "Americanize" India. That's probably my only concern.
    I don't really get this concern. Do you have an example of Apple trying to "Americanize" another culture? Apple has never been an "American" company, i.e., like Ford or Chevy—they play heavily on American image and culture, but I've never seen Apple do anything that plays to American nationalism or patriotism. They've just been a technology company that happens to have their headquarters in the US. More than that, even their voice recognition software has been designed to take different languages and even accents into account.
    Cook was specifically asked, and brilliantly addressed, that question. The thrust of his answer was (I am paraphrasing) that Apple is, has always been, and will be a California company, unabashedly reflecting that ethos. It will sell uncompromisingly the highest quality product it possibly can, wherever it does business in the world. In other words, no hardware compromises, period. But he indicated that there will be ways in which the software will be uniquely tailored to India, and will reflect Indianness. 
  • Reply 16 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,903member
    It's good to see Tim trying hard to curry favor in India.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,903member
    It's good to see Tim trying hard to curry favor in India.
    The etymology of the word is not what you think it might be: but don't beat yourself up too much, since it's a common mistake. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/curry-favour.html
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