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India is one of the fastest growing markets for Apple: CEO Tim Cook

Economic Times:  July, 2016

Kolkata: Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is looking forward to open its company owned stores in India which has become one of the most important markets for the company.

In an analyst conference call after announcing Apple's third quarter result on wee hours of Wednesday, Cook said: "We're looking forward to opening retail stores in India down the road, and we see huge potential for that vibrant country."

The remarks assume significance since Apple was studying the changes in norms for single brand retailers announced last month to set up stores in the country.

As per the new norms, foreign single brand retailers can comply with the controversial 30% local sourcing requirements over the first five years of its operations, and not from the first year, as was proposed in the earlier policy. It also said that these rules will not apply for the first three years of operations for foreign companies that sold products having 'cutting edge and 'state-of-the-art' technology.

Apple has sought clarification from the government on the definition of these terms and sourcing clause, as ET had reported earlier this month.

During the call, Cook said India is now one of the fastest growing markets for Apple.

"In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, our iPhone sales in India were up 51% year on year," Cook said. The Apple boss updated analysts that he was encouraged by the growth prospects in India and China during his visit during the quarter.

Apple continued to report double digit growth in iPhone sales during the quarter in its key markets which included India along with Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Canada and Sweden. The company also reported "healthy growth" in revenue a number of markets which included India, Russia, Brazil, Trukey and Canada.

Cook said Apple has just launched a first of its kind design and development accelerator to support Indian developers creating innovative applications for its iPhone and iPad operating system, and opened a new office in Hyderabad to accelerate maps development.