Apple is reportedly close to a deal that would allow it to open its first retail stores in India. The company is apparently seeking an exemption from certain rules that would require it to produce more of its products in India.
Apple should qualify as a provider of cutting-edge technology, the person said. That would exempt the maker of iPhones and iPads from a rule forcing foreign businesses that retail a single brand in India to procure 30 percent of a product's inputs locally. The company makes most of its devices in China.
Reports of Apple Stores coming to India first surfaced last month. The company currently sells its products through third-party retailers in India, and opening its own stores would allow Apple to gain that direct company-to-customer relationship that they prize in other countries.
While the exemption would allow Apple to start selling its devices in India directly, the company could be planning to ramp up is manufacturing in the country as well. This would allow Apple to avoid any import taxes on its products, possibly offering them at a lower price, much like they've done in Brazil.