In a wide-ranging interview with The Hindu, Tim Cook discussed Apple's strategy for the Indian market. The CEO is currently on a tour of the country, where he launched an iOS accelerator in Bengaluru and a development center in Hyderabad.
Apple is looking to take a long-term approach in the country, with local manufacturing factoring into the vendor's plans:
We have thought through many areas (of investment) and we will move ahead in all these areas. What we have announced in Hyderabad and Bengaluru are just a couple of initial things, there's more coming. We are committed to India.
We are looking at India as a partner across (segments), not just for any one area. Manufacturing is something we will logically look at.
We are in India for the next thousand years. Our horizon is very long. We are focussed on best, not most. So it doesn't bother me that we don't have top market share.
I see a lot of positive things happen in the country and more will happen. From GDP point of view there is no doubt in my mind that India will set new records. I can feel it will happen.
Last month, the Indian government rejected Apple's bid to sell used iPhones in the country on grounds that the move would lead to an influx of refurbished electronics nearing end-of-life. Cook shared his thoughts on the subject, stating that he will urge the authorities to reconsider:
If you think about automobiles, brands like Lexus and Mercedes have been selling certified pre-owned cars. We have this programme in the U.S. and in most parts of the world. When they are sold, they are sold with warranty, just like a new product. We would never sell a product that we didn't think was right.
Cook also talked about the learning experience following meetings with key industrialists and leading Bollywood stars in the country:
It's been a great learning experience for me. What I wanted to do was to learn about people, about culture, about how business is done, what things are changing and what are the catalysts for the change. In particular, I wanted to understand the telecom networks in the country, especially with 4G coming. I met with network operators and I am very optimistic that 4G is now coming, after a long wait. It can be a huge change agent.
I have met some of the industrialists of India and that gave me a great deal of perspective. Apple has long served the creative markets. That's how we started – by focusing on film-makers and artists. So I spent some time with film-making groups and it's unbelievable. I am picking up various things but the thing that trumps all of those is the warmth of the people. This is very unique. You quickly feel like you are part of a community and you have made lifelong friends.
Head to the link below to read the interview in its entirety.