Apple town hall: CEO Tim Cook ‘confirms’ opening of stores in India
Apple’s much-famed stores are all set to come to India. The confirmation comes from none other than the Cupertino giant’s CEO Tim Cook. At a recent town hall with Apple executives, Cook reportedly said that Apple is in early preparations to bring its retail stores to the country.
According to a report in 9to5mac, Cook called India one of Apple’s “most important growth areas for the next decade.” According top the news report, “He mentioned that 4G LTE networks are not in every emerging market, and this gives Apple the opportunity to push its latest devices to regions like India.”
In the days following Apple’s Q1 earnings announcements, CEO Cook and other top executives held a town hall meeting at the company’s Infinite Loop headquarters to reveal new announcements.
Cook fielded a range of questions from the the audience including on attempts at reducing concerns related to the company’s iPhone dependence, porting of more Apple services to Android, growth in India and releasing cheaper iPhones to expand reach in the growing markets.
Earlier this month, during its first-quarter earnings call, CEO Cook said that Apple will continue to invest in India despite global slowdown and currency fluctuations.
“During hard times like now, it provides an opportunity to invest in newer markets such as India where there are long-term prospects,” he said.
Apple’s financial year runs from October to September. The call took place early morning on Wednesday, India time. Apple’s India first-quarter revenue surged 38%, albeit on a smaller base, compared with 11% growth in overall emerging markets and 14% in Greater China, its second-largest market after the US. Cook said at constantcurrency rates, sales rose 48% from the year ago.
“India is quickly becoming the fastest-growing BRIC nation, the third-largest smartphone market behind China and the US, and the median age of the population is 27 compared to 36-37 in China,” Cook said. “The demographic is incredibly great for a consumer brand and people want best products. The government too is interested in economic reforms. All speaks for a really good future business environment.”
Apple’s senior vice-president and chief financial officer Luca Maestri said iPhone sales volume grew 76% in the October-December quarter in India compared with 45% in Korea, the Middle East and Africa, 20% in several western European countries and 18% in mainland China.
Analysts said the low smartphone base, launch of 4G telecom services and the number of young people have increased India’s attractiveness for Apple.