Headline May 25, 2016/ ''' O'' MASTER *APPLE* OF INDIA'S HEART '''



INDIA  -IS ALL SET  to become the world's  second-largest  smartphone market behind China, but Apple's market share was-

Just 2.7% in the first quarter of this year, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

This is mainly due to the cost : Most iPhones in the country sell for more than $500   -approximately one third of what the average Indian consumer makes in a year.

Chief Executive Tim Cook met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi this Saturday, the most high-profile engagement yet on Mr. Cook's days long charm offensives in a crucial but challenging market for the company's growth.

Mr. Cook shared Apple's plans in India with Mr. Modi and the pair spoke about manufacturing and retailing in the country, a government statement said. 

Mr. Modi in turn explained his digital India initiative and sought support from the company in furthering the objectives of the program, which aims to connect hundreds of millions of villagers to the Internet.

Analysts said Mr. Cook is likely to advocate for Apple's existing proposal to refurbish and sell secondhand iPhones in the country, which would be key given 70% of smartphones sold last year in India cost less than $150.

In addition, Apple in January said it had sought government permission to open its own retail stores and sell products online to supplement Indian-owned distribution firms and retailers.

Mr. Cook's visit to India this past week has seen him pose for photos with Bollywood stars, visit a Hindu Temple and watch a Cricket match. Apple announced plans to open two new offices in India to foster the development of mobile apps and mapping services in the country.

But while the trip may have helped raised awareness of apple's brand in the world's second-most-populous country, the firm still faces serious challenges and obstacles selling its relatively expensive iPhones in a price sensitive market. 

Not long after Mr. Cook touched down in India, Apple on Wednesday said it was establishing a center in Bangalore, a southern Indian city home to many tech workers and startups, to encourage the development of apps for the company iOS software, which powers its mobile devices.

The center is expected  open early next year, Apple said.

India is dominated by cheap handsets running on Android, the mobile operating system from rival Alphabet Inc.'s Google.

On Thursday Apple said it was opening a new office in Hyderabad, another technology hub in southern India, to develop mapping services for its iPhones and other products.

The new facility will  ''accelerate Maps development and create up to 4,000 jobs'' in partnership with a local IT firm, apple said in a statement.

To sum, Mr. Cook's visit and efforts seem both timely and well thought out. He seems determined to ramp up revenues in India as iPhone sales fall in China, long an engine of the Cupertino, Calif, company's growth.

After all, Apple last month posted its first quarterly decline in revenues in just about 13 years.

With respectful dedication to CEO Tim Cook. See Ya, Sir, on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and !E-WOW! the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Defiant !WOW! '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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