Economic Times says Apple is planning to set up its own online store in India by October to sell locally produced iPhone SE models and accessories, but other outlets caution this statement holds little water.
Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and the guy in charge of all App Stores at Apple, announced on Twitter this morning that the company’s iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in the Yelahanka area of Bengaluru in India is officially opening. Bengaluru is the home of India’s startup scene. The populous country has some of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world.
Apple also published useful resources at developer.apple.com/accelerator, including information pertaining to local iOS development scene.
A game of cat and mouse between Apple and the Indian government continues with news Monday that the government has yet to make a final decision regarding concessions being sought by Apple to set up an iPhone manufacturing plant in the country. Tribune India is reporting that Ramesh Abhishek, a secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), told the media this morning that while Apple did submit certain demands for the government’s consideration, a final decision has yet to be announced.
It’s official: Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron will be assembling iPhones in a facility set up at Peenya on the outskirts of Bengaluru, The Times of India reported Friday. No timeline has been provided, but production is expected to begin in June. The Karnataka government issued a release yesterday in which regional IT minister Priyank Kharge welcomed Apple’s proposal “to commence initial manufacturing operations” in the state.
Apple is teaming up with Indian ride-hailing firm Ola to push Apple Music, reports the L.A. Times. The outlet says that the deal will result in the company’s streaming music service being available as part of Ola’s in-car experience.
The platform is called Ola Play, and it already has several high-profile partners including Sony, Qualcomm and Audio Compass. It gives passengers the ability to control their vehicle’s climate and entertainment via an in-car tablet.
India’s premier forensic institute The Forensic Science Laboratory is buying Cellebrite’s tech that enables it to bypass locked iPhones, reports The Economic Times. The Israeli company made headlines earlier this year when it was reportedly sought out by the FBI to help it access the locked San Bernardino iPhone.
It’s unclear how much the FSL is paying for the technology, or what the deal will mean for other countries and organizations. The Times, however, has a quote from an FSL source saying they believe the move will make it the global go-to place for law enforcement agencies seeking to unlock highsecurity devices.
A May report from The Economic Times alleged that Apple had approached Foxconn about assembling iPhones in India in the next two to three years. The Economic Times of India confirmed Monday that Foxconn will be expanding its operations in India next year, backing its $600 million investments already made in the country.
As of today, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are available for purchase in India ahead of the country’s gift-giving season. As CNBC reported, the new handsets cost more than the average Indian citizen earns in six months due to local import taxes which jack up retail price of the entry-level $649 32GB iPhone 7 to as high as $900, or a whopping $1.382 for the flagship 256GB iPhone 7 Plus model.
Apple is one step closer to opening first-party retail stores in India, its increasingly significant market with population of 1.3 billion people, with a new Bloomberg report claiming that India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley has approved a proposal that clarifies how Apple could open retail stores without initially having to source components locally.
Last month, the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a three-year extension on local-sourcing rules that require foreign firms wanting to run their own local retail stores to source at least 30 percent of components within the populous country.