Following a meeting with the President of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
, as we reported previously
. According to a report in the Times of India
, the two discussed the possibility of Apple setting up manufacturing facilities in the country, as well as how Apple Pay might be implemented there. Cook is said to have "responded positively" to both proposals, which could open the door to official Apple Stores in the country.
Apple's chief manufacturing partner, Foxconn, has previously mooted the idea of setting up manufacturing facilities in India
, but it is unclear if those proposed facilities would be making anything for Apple, since the company services most other mainstream US electronics companies.
Tim Cook and Prime Minister Modi
As pointed out by AppleInsider
, however, Apple may have an incentive
to consider building a manufacturing facility in the country; India's laws make it difficult for manufacturer-owned stores -- such as Apple Stores -- to be operated in the country unless some of the products carried are manufactured in India. Apple has traditionally relied on its network of third-party resellers, but would surely be interested in opening at least a few of its own Apple Stores in key cities in India as well.
The iPhone 6s family will be launching in India on October 16, it was confirmed on Monday
, and Apple has been spending the last two years expanding its reseller network -- it hopes to eventually reach some 500 stores
, and has been offering financing plans and other incentives rarely seen elsewhere in an effort to increase sales. The effort appears to be paying off -- Cook reported last July that iPhone sales had doubled in the country, in a quarter where traditionally sales fall in anticipation of the upcoming new model.
Although not mentioned in the news reports, Cook and Modi may have also talked about Apple's intention to partner with the government of India on an initiative to make more government services accessible on the web, as well as the iPhone maker's interest in fostering more app development jobs in India.