Did Tim Cook's India trip end with a disappointment?
While Apple has been pushing its plans to sell refurbished iPhones in India, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi instead told Cook to Make in India.
Apple CEO Tim Cook may have left India with a heavy heart as his Bollywood- and cricket-infused maiden trip came to an end. Cook checked a lot of must-do-in-India boxes in four days, but he's gone back without fulfiling his main agenda -- to sell the idea of refurbished iPhones to India.
Cook brought up the refurbished iPhones plan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at their meeting in New Delhi but Modi asked Cook to Make in India instead.
In fact, Modi even requested Cook to make Apple an integral part of the 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' programmes. Cook has agreed to explore Modi's proposal, while even appreciating the Indian youth for their skills. There's immense potential for app-development in the country, he told Modi.
In an earlier article, we'd explored why refurbished iPhones may just be the key for Apple to grow its sales in India.
This isn't the first time the request has been turned down -- the refurbished iPhones idea has been rejected by both, the UPA and the current NDA governments -- but Modi's stance on Modi may have just been the last nail in the coffin.
Cook's visit to India came soon after the company its first-ever decline in sales of iPhones globally. Apple has decided to push sales in India which posted 56% jump in sales but still accounted for only 1% of iPhone's global sales, which means there's a huge market potential here.
The Cupertino-based company has, however, managed to appease the government by setting up a Map Development Centre in Hyderabad.
There are plans to set up an iOS app design and development facility in Bengaluru too.
Cook ensured he conveyed to the PM, the warmth he received in India during his trip. Modi retorted that these experiences would definitely steer the CEOs business decisions.
In an earlier interview, Cook asserted that he was looking at India holistically and Apple was going to be "here for the next thousand years". But only time will tell if and when Apple will start manufacturing in India.