Apple to Open $25 Million Technology Development Site in India

Apple plans to open a $25 million technology development site that’ll span 250,000 square feet in Hyderabad, India, according to ZDNet. The site will open its „innovation center“ in June of this year before ramping up to full operations by the end of the year.

The new centre will be built on 250,000 square feet of land in the real estate firm Tishman Speyer’s WaveRock facility at Hyderabad’s IT corridor at a cost of $25 million (150 crore rupees). It is anticipated to create 4,500 jobs for locals. IT majors such as Infosys, Wipro, Microsoft, and Cognizant have already set up their offices in the IT corridor.

ZDNet says the development center will be used to work on maps. Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary to IT in Telangana, the state in which Hyderabad resides, told ZDNet that Apple „has not looked at cities only in India, but across many places in Europe and other parts of the world.“

Rajan notes that Apple choosing Hyderabad is a „strong endorsement of the city as a major IT hub in the country.“ Microsoft also has offices in the city and plans to expand its operations while Google has pledged to open a headquarters in Hyderabad, making it the biggest technology campus in South Asia.

In 2006, Apple opened a massive support center in Bangalore, but closed it shortly thereafter. While Apple keeps most of its design and development within the United States, it does own several research and development sites around the world, including in Israel and Ireland. In late 2014, the company announced that it would open an R&D center in Yokohama, Japan. In January, Apple announced that it would open iOS development centers in Europe, starting in Italy.

On a whole, India is becoming increasingly important to Apple’s business. Last July, the company noted that its growth in India was over 90 percent while Apple’s sales in the country topped $1 billion in a fiscal year for the first time. Tim Cook has also mentioned that Apple was interested in expanding its manufacturing base in the country. Currently, Apple is close to gaining approval to open retail stores in India.

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Apple to Open $25 Million Technology Development Site in India

Apple Close to Approval for Opening Retail Locations in India

Apple is close to gaining clearance to open its first retail store locations in India, according to a source familiar with the matter speaking with Bloomberg. Apple will be re-submitting its retail presence application to the Indian government due to a format problem, but Bloomberg‘s source said that India plans to push the application through without issue.

Due to the fact that Apple is „a provider of cutting-edge technology,“ the Cupertino-based company will be exempt from a rule set by the Indian government that states any foreign businesses selling a single brand must acquire 30 percent of its product’s manufacturing inputs locally. Since Apple manufactures most of its products in China, the stipulation has been an issue for the company in trying to make headway into the Indian retail market.

„Most of the growth in India will come from new users coming into the Apple ecosystem, unlike in the West where growth is mainly from existing users upgrading,“ said Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, based near New Delhi. “You can expect the stores to focus mostly on iPhones.”

Due to the high-end pricing of the iPhone, Apple has remained a small share of the smartphone market within India for the past few years. With 2 percent of the market, Apple is behind companies like Samsung (26 percent), Intex (10 percent), and Lenovo (9 percent) in terms of smartphone sales.

Last summer, Apple announced the Authorized Mobility Resellers program in India, which was reported to be focused on opening 500 retail store locations across 12 cities in India. With such a small share of the country’s 220 million smartphone users, it seems Apple is finally getting closer to increasing its foothold in the country.

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Apple Close to Approval for Opening Retail Locations in India

Tim Cook Talks iPhone Sales, Apple TV, Campus 2, and More at Employee Town Hall Meeting

Following Apple’s first quarter earnings report, Apple executives hosted a Town Hall meeting with Apple employees to answer questions and to divulge a few details about the company’s future plans. 9to5Mac has shared highlights of what was covered at the event. While much of what was said was reiterating information that was shared during the earnings call, there are a few tidbits worth noting.

When it comes to the iPhone and the rumor that Apple has perhaps reached „peak iPhone,“ Cook said the device is the „greatest business of the future“ with growth potential in key emerging markets like India and China. He said Apple does not need to launch a less expensive device with pared-down features to entice buyers in these markets, as research suggests people will spend more for a better experience. These comments relate directly to the upcoming „iPhone 5se,“ which some rumors have suggested will be positioned as a less powerful, lower-end device, though not a cheap one by general smartphone standards.

On the Apple TV and tvOS, Cook said the two products point towards a „bright“ future for Apple, but he didn’t mention how Apple might expand its presence in the living room going forward. tvOS is Apple’s way of giving content providers the tools to offer streaming television solutions to customers after having failed to launch its own streaming service due to difficulties with negotiations. The most recent TV-related rumors suggest Apple is exploring the possibility of original content, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon.

Cook also reportedly expressed excitement over future products coming from the company’s software, services, and hardware divisions. In the next few months, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, new bands for the Apple Watch, and perhaps new Retina MacBooks and Retina MacBook Pros. Later in the year, Apple is also expected to introduce the highly-anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

He also teased „far off“ hardware products coming beyond 2016, perhaps hinting at the company’s work on the Apple Car or its exploration of virtual and augmented reality. Recent rumors suggest Apple is prototyping virtual reality headsets similar to the Oculus Rift.

The last bit of interesting information was on Apple Campus 2, the company’s second „spaceship“ campus that’s under development in Cupertino. Construction appears to be on track to be finished at the end of 2016, as Cook says the first employees will move into the campus by the end of January 2017. He also said the new underground auditorium will allow Apple to hold events on its grounds instead of at venues in San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area.

The meeting also included more mundane information on upcoming time-off benefits for Apple employees, flagging iPad sales, new solutions for retaining employee talent, and Apple’s supply chain, which can be read at 9to5Mac.

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Tim Cook Talks iPhone Sales, Apple TV, Campus 2, and More at Employee Town Hall Meeting

Apple Cuts Price of the iPhone 5s by Almost Half in India

As it looks to find a better foothold in the Indian smartphone market, Apple today reduced the price of the bestselling iPhone 5s in the country by nearly half of what it sold for in September (via CNET).

Officially, the 2013 iPhone has been reduced from 44,500 Rupees ($665) to 24,999 Rupees ($370) in an effort by Apple to make the two-year-old smartphone more attractive to users in India, where smartphone competition is normally priced below $300.

India is currently the third biggest smartphone market in the world, following China and the United States. Although Apple has a large presence in the latter two countries, it currently doesn’t even crack the top five list of smartphone manufacturers in India.

„To drive volume [in India], Apple will need to keep focus on older iPhone generations,“ IDC’s Kiranjeet Kaur said, explaining that older generations will cater to the country’s large midrange smartphone market. Kaur added that there’s a „limited“ amount of penetration the company can achieve by exclusively selling in the premium price segment.

Besides the premium pricing of the company’s products, multiple factors have prevented Apple from having the kind of success it experiences in some other regions, including its strict real estate investment laws barring Apple from building traditional brick-and-mortar stores in the country. High import taxes applied to products not manufactured in the country’s borders also hinders Apple’s growth, and allows the market leader Samsung to flourish due to its India-based smartphone manufacturing plants.

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Apple Cuts Price of the iPhone 5s by Almost Half in India

iPad Pro will touch down in India next week

The iPad Pro is set to launch in India next week, amidst a massive push on Apple’s part to grow its enterprise business in the populous country — with plans for this to eventually account for 15-20 percent of Apple revenue. Pricing for Apple’s super-sized tablet will begin at Rs 67,990 ($1,018), compared with $799 in the United […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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iPad Pro will touch down in India next week