Tim Cook’s much talked-about visit to India has finally come to a close. It was among the most high-profile events for the tech industry in India, and media being media, it covered his every move with the enthusiasm of a doting parent.
So what did Tim Cook do here in India? What adventures did he run into? What big deals did he close? And what developments are about to cement Apple’s future in this country? Did you miss out on something important?
Worry not! You don’t have to scroll through hundreds of articles to learn the details of Mr. Cook’s trip. We have done the hard work and compiled the most important takeaways of this trip for your reference.
1. The iPhones ARE expensive. Really? You think?
Apple’s CEO finally saw the light that had been glaring so brightly in our face! He realised that we were culturally a price sensitive nation. Despite the fact that income levels were on the rise, we were way too fond of our money to part with it. All these factors helped him acknowledge that the iPhones were too expensive for India.
Now that the top boss has publicly acknowledged the problem, can we expect some relief? Can we dream of a more reasonably priced iPhone?
2. India gets its first iOS App Design and Development Center
Apple announced the establishment of an iOS App Design and Development Centre at Bengaluru. “India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” according to Cook. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t tap into that pool of talent to make some money, eh Cook?
3. Kyu Paisa Paisa karti hai?
Cook said he is really looking forward to bringing Apple Pay to India. At the same time, he acknowledged that the online payment framework is still not developed enough to support Apple Pay on a large scale.
Seeing the recent rise in the mobile wallets and e-pay systems, Tim Cook was confident that Apple Pay would soon be a reality in India. He said, “It is important we move faster on scaling on the ability to pay in a manner that is wanted and desired by the customer.”
4. A Make-or-Break situation
Direct talks with PM Modi was arguably the most important part of the trip for Mr. Cook. The details of the discussions were not made public. However, sources said they revolved around pushing forward Apple’s local manufacturing plans. These plans are supposedly a part of the larger “Make in India” campaign floated by Modi.
5. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I got lost… Screw you Apple Maps!
Apple will also set up another office at Hyderabad that will focus exclusively on the enhancement of its Maps app and related service. About time, we say!
There’s no denying that Maps seriously needs some help to match up to Google Maps. Besides, town planning in India is like the Apple Car — it doesn’t exist, but people do believe that if it became a reality, life would be better.
So, a better, more enhanced Apple Maps would be heaven sent, if Apple can get it right this time round.
6. It’s refurbished, not second grade
Tim Cook laid special emphasis on why Apple’s refurbished phones were not some low quality, rejected maal that was being dumped in India. The refurbished model was a tried and tested one that had been received well by people. And as usual, each refurbished phone carried the Apple mark of quality and reliability.
At low prices, may we add. This is probably what heaven looks like.
7. Miles to go before I sleep…
Apple stands at a dismal 10th place in the Brand Awareness (in India) poll conducted by Morgan Stanley. It’s lower than even Blackberry!
The report also said that Apple “has to significantly increase its store presence, ramp up marketing, and add local content.”
Apple recognises that the growth potential for iPhone (and other Apple devices) in India is tremendous. We are today where China was a decade ago: Low smartphone-per-10-people ratio, high data costs, and high barriers of cost to entry.
There’s no doubt that Apple’s plans in India have progressed by leaps and bounds in this past one week. However, it’s only the start. Apple has to wage a long, hard war against the current market players. Samsung and Micromax are, in particular, going to be Apple’s main rivals.
It’s a tough market out there, and if Apple needs to make a mark, it has to go all out — no expenses spared!