Apple announced its third quarter results with revenue rising to $42 billion on Tuesday. In the earnings call, CEO Tim Cook confirmed the company was looking forward to opening its retail stores in India. Apple Stores coming to India have been talked about for sometime now, and Cook’s recent visit in May 2016 raised hopes that the company will soon bring these iconic stores to the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also spoke about how India has seen double digits growth when it comes to the iPhone and also about his visit in May. “India is now one of our fastest growing markets. In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, our iPhone sales in India were up 51 per cent year-on-year,” said Cook during the call.
He also mentioned the new design and development centre which was launched Bengaluru to support Indian app developers, as well as the new office for Apple Maps development in Hyderabad.
But no doubt, the comment that’s bound to generate interest is the one around Apple retail stores in India. “We’re looking forward to opening retail stores in India down the road, and we see huge potential for that vibrant country,” said the Apple CEO.
For Apple, opening retail stores in India might be easier thanks to the recent change in FDI norms. Earlier this month, the Cabinet approved a three-year exemption from 30 per cent annual local sourcing — required for foreign single-brand retail — for companies which have “cutting-edge technology”. Further a company like Apple could be granted flexibility in this local sourcing, and can choose to do this sourcing over a five-year period, after the three-year exemption is over.
Apple has also indicated in the past that it wants to bring more of its services like Apple Pay to India. In an interview with IndianExpress.com, Tim Cook had said, “We are also looking at things like bringing Apple Pay. I met one of the key banks and tried to understand how their view of mobile payments would play out. But having said that it is important we move faster on scaling on the ability to pay in a manner that is wanted and desired by the customer.”
On retail stores, Cook admitted in the same interview that Apple needs presence over time and is working towards that. “Again, we are looking at it from many different angles and not solely from a market point of view,” he had added.
Apple quarterly revenue stood at $42.4 billion and quarterly net income of $7.8 billion with the Services segment seeing a 19 per cent sales jump. Services for Apple includes App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud storage. According to Apple’s results, App Store revenue jumped by 39 per cent, while Apple Pay now see more than 50 per cent of its transactions take place outside the US.