Apple hits setback in push to open retail stores in India

“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook went to India last week to push his bestselling iPhones. The trip may not have paid off,” Siddhartha Singh and Saritha Rai report for Bloomberg. “India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board ruled Apple must comply with regulations to procure 30 percent of components locally if it wants to sell through its own retail stores, according to people with direct knowledge of matter. The company makes most of its products in China and doesn’t currently meet that criteria.”

“While India can provide waivers for cutting-edge technology companies, the panel decided it can’t certify Apple for that exception, the people said, asking not to be identified as the decision isn’t public. The FIPB decision needs to be ratified by the government and it could still be overruled,” Singh and Rai report. “The FIPB decision needs to be ratified by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the people said.”

“Apple sells its products at a premium in India. More than 80 percent of phones sold in the country cost less than $150 while the cheapest new iPhone from Apple is the 4-inch iPhone SE at 39,000 rupees ($577),” Singh and Rai report. “The company’s push to bring in and sell lower-priced refurbished iPhones was rejected after competitors objected, a telecommunications ministry official said earlier this month.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Indian people should realize that their government isn’t helping them by blocking affordable Apple Certified Refurbished iPhones, it’s subjecting them to inferior, insecure, derivative fragamndroid crap.

India should approve Apple’s plan to sell Apple Certified refurbished iPhones in India. Not only would they be affordable to more consumers in India, Apple’s refurb’ed iPhones are easily better than competitors’ new phones! Why keep the Indian people shackled to inferior iPhone knockoffs when they could have the real thing?

As for the retail stores, that’ll be worked out eventually.

Apple’s U-turn in India: From arrogance to servility – May 23, 2016
Apple finds potential new factory hub – in India – May 23, 2016
Apple’s Tim Cook samples Bollywood, cricket, in bid to woo India – May 21, 2016
India shows Apple CEO Cook the love it’s yet to give the pricey iPhone – May 20, 2016
Apple CEO Cook: ‘We are in India for the next thousand years’ – May 20, 2016
Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook at his first cricket game in India – May 19, 2016
Apple opens Maps development office in Hyderabad, India – May 19, 2016
Apple CEO Cook debuts in India – May 18, 2016
Apple to open first-of-its-kind iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in India – May 18, 2016
Tim Cook visits India: Apple to expand its Indian software development center, build local start-up accelerator program – May 17, 2016
Apple Retail Stores to open in India by end of next year – May 16, 2016
iPhone sales surge 56% in India as Apple eats into Samsung’s high-end share – May 8, 2016
Apple deprivileged as India bows to Washington D.C. consensus on mobile phone import tariffs – May 7, 2016
India rejects Apple’s plan to import and sell refurbished iPhones – May 3, 2016
Indian government panel paves way for wholly-owned Apple retail stores in India – April 28, 2016


  1. and so it begins. We elect Trump and impose the same regs, so does everyone else. In the end does Apple need to start making it parts locally to accommodate? More jobs, higher prices / lower margins..

    1. “In the end does Apple need to start making it parts locally …”

      The answer particularly for India is “YES.”

      Of large population countries, they have the lowest business employment per capita and absolutely need foreign investment and manufacturing to have any hope of raising the population out of miserably poor conditions.

      Foxconn and Apple can make a difference there and it will likely be a multi-company effort with cooperation from India’s government to jump start cell phone manufacturing.

      I’m betting it will happen after a lot of tough negotiating.

      1. Their population is “miserably poor” precisely because of these kind of regulations. If they had open markets, less official corruption, and less state control and sanction of monopoly interests who have way too close ties to politician’s wallets, the Indian people would be perfectly capable of raising themselves out of poverty. It’s the same sad story in every underdeveloped country the world over. In India’s case, it’s exacerbated by strong anti-colonial sentiment.

        1. I believe you’ve provided a reasonable summary of the situation. This documentary provides excellent insight into how crazy and crooked it gets in India:

          Powerless – Electricity Theft In India – Independent Lens – PBS

          About the Film

          A cat-and-mouse game of electricity theft unfolds in Kanpur, India, a city that once prided itself as “the Manchester of the East” for its many factories, but now many of its three million people cannot afford their power bills. Desperate times call for desperate measures and that means outlaw electricians like Loha Singh risk life and limb to connect the disconnected.

    1. Why give in to extortion? Should they have to build a chip factory in every country they want to sell phones in? Does India have a strong chip business? I am sure Apple sourced the globe for the best and they selected their current suppliers for a reason.

  2. Simply another loss for Apple and mainly Apple shareholders. Almost everything Tim Cook tries to do goes for naught. Lack of competence by the CEO is going to sink Apple. This stubborn streak of Tim Cook is useless. Apple isn’t going to be able to sell more iPhones when the world is flooded with cheap Android smartphones. Apple needs to be looking for something else to increase revenue. If other companies are using cloud services to gain revenue, then so should Apple. Supposedly, even if there’s plenty of competition, there is plenty of growth left in that area. At least that’s a business that Wall Street acknowledges to be unlimited.

    Apple isn’t going to catch any breaks in India no matter how many Bollywood stars or bigwig politicos Tim Cook dined with on his short visit. Those consumers all want cheap Android smartphones and that’s what they’ll be buying. Apple will get next to nothing in terms of iPhone sales.

    1. why not do both? Apple’s security alone is worth it to those who can afford it. The entire world knows the simple fact is this: iPhone > Android (will ever be). Upper middle class will always gravitate towards quality.

  3. Government level protectionism as well as corporatocracy protectionism. I call shenanigans on all of it. I wonder if an under-the-table ‘schmooze’ factor is involved, something to which Tim Cook and gang will not dishonor themselves. I wouldn’t blame them. Apple is about how to do business RIGHT, not about dirty doings and parasitism.

    So get with it India! Or you’ll be stuck with 3rd rate junk for ‘smart’phones. You’ll be a haven for FragmAndroid Security Hell. Not advisable.

  4. MDN is, as ever, one-eyed. The Indian government has no intention of allowing multinationals to import products at significant levels when they could be manufactured locally.

    Apple will have to do so manufacturing in India.

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