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Why Did Apple’s CEO Visit India Last Week?

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Retail, encryption, and manufacturing in India

Last week, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook visited India (EPI) and met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The duo reportedly spoke on a number of issues including retail stores, manufacturing, app development, and encryption.

Apple is also looking to open three retail stores in the country by the end of 2016, despite rules stating that foreign businesses with a “single-brand” store need to source 30% of goods from domestic suppliers.

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Earlier this year, Apple also wanted to sell refurbished iPhones in India. Apple recently announced that its multi-pronged approach for India includes investments such as the iOS design and development center in Bangalore and a Maps development facility in Hyderabad. Cook went on to say that Indian markets are a top priority for Apple.

Why Did Apple's CEO Visit India Last Week?

Apple also held talks with India’s regional wireless carriers and government agencies. According to AppleInsider, the firm is aggressively eyeing expansion in hardware, retail sales, and internet services, which are subject to regulatory approvals and private sector partnerships.

Apple’s small share in India

According to Counterpoint, India (EPI) recently overtook the US to become the second-largest smartphone market behind China. But Apple still only commands a 2% share in India’s smartphone market.

According to that report (and as the chart above shows), Samsung (SSNLF) led the Indian smartphone market last year, with Micromax, Intex, Lenovo (LNVGY), and Lava taking the up the remaining four positions among the top five players in this market. Microsoft (MSFT) lost its place among the top five players in this market due to the declining popularity of the Lumia line of smartphones.

In this series, we’ll take a full tour of Apple across regions, peers, products, and financials. Continue to the next part for a look at recent iPhone sales.

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