Apple ‘excited to build on our long-standing history’, says Tim Cook ahead of first retail stores opening

Apple now supports more than 1 million developer jobs in India, and App Store payouts to them in India have more than tripled since 2018, the company said as it gears up major expansion in the South Asian market. The iPhone-maker this week will open its first two retail stores in India.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is visiting India this week to launch the stores and meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as many business leaders to talk about the company’s growing commitment to India.

“At Apple, our mission is to enrich lives and empower people around the world,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement Monday. “India has such a beautiful culture and an incredible energy, and we’re excited to build on our long-standing history — supporting our customers, investing in local communities, and working together to build a better future with innovations that serve humanity.”

Despite being the world’s second-largest internet market, the majority of smartphones sold in India are priced below $250. While India accounts for a small portion of Apple’s overall revenue, the iPhone-maker has expressed optimism about the nation’s potential for growth.

Apple said that the new retail stores “mark a major expansion,” for the company.

In preparation for the store openings, Apple has been actively recruiting employees in recent months, according to growing job postings. The company, which launched its Indian online store in 2020, had initially planned to open its first retail location in 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced a delay.

Apple is also working to turn India into a key global hardware manufacturing hub, thanks in part to the incentives New Delhi is offering to manufacturers to expand their presence in the country.

The company’s contract manufacturing partners, Foxconn and Wistron, have increased local assembly of iPhones and other Apple devices in recent quarters. According to a report by JP Morgan analysts last year, Apple is expected to expand its manufacturing capacity in India to produce 25% of all iPhones by 2025.

“Apple began manufacturing iPhone in India in 2017, and since then, the company has worked with suppliers to assemble iPhone models and produce a growing number of components. Apple’s work with Indian suppliers of all sizes supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country,” Apple said in a statement Monday.

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