Home / News / India /  India a hugely exciting market and major focus for Apple, says Tim Cook

Besides speaking about concerns related to layoffs, Apple CEO Tim Cook has called India a "hugely exciting market" for the technology company. The Apple CEO said that India will be a "major focus" for the firm, which is looking to choose the country as an alternative production base to China and as a source of growth.

"India is a hugely exciting market for us and is a major focus," said Cook while speaking at the company's earnings call, adding, "We're putting a lot of emphasis on the market."

His remarks come at a time when a number of tech firms globally are laying off staff to cut expenses amid challenging macroeconomic conditions. The Apple CEO had also said in an interview, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, that the company is managing costs very tightly and is curtailing hiring in certain sectors.

However, Apple is hiring carefully and adding new staff where they are required. For instance, the tech firm is hiring retail managers for its upcoming physical Apple stores in India.

'Bullish on India'

“I'm very bullish on India," Cook said adding, "We are investing there (India) by bringing retail there, bringing the online store there and putting out a significant amount of energy there."

The Apple CEO announced the financial results for the fiscal 2023 first quarter, which ended on 31 December, 2022.

The tech giant has witnessed a quarterly revenue record in India for October to December, with double-digit year-over-year growth. This comes amid otherwise gloomy results, including production headwinds in China and weakening global consumer demand dealt the firm its first revenue drop in over three years.

For iPhone sales in India in the quarter, Apple said that the company witnessed an all-time record. However, the firm didn't mention specific numbers regarding revenue or units sold. Cook said that Apple grew very strong double digits year over year despite the headwinds faced by the company.

"We ... grew very strong double digits year over year, and so we feel very good about how we performed, and ... that's despite the headwinds that we've talked about," Cook was quoted as saying by Nikkei Asia.

Apple has not yet opened retail stores in India. However, the company appears to be preparing up for opening retail stores as it started hiring retail store workers in the country in January. Also, Apple aims to fill many other roles as it prepares to open its first flagship locations as soon as this quarter.

Like China, India is important to Apple in terms of a sizable market and a growing manufacturing hub.

Earlier in January, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had said that Apple wants India to account for up to 25 per cent of its production, from about 5 per cent to 7 per cent now.

The tech giant had also announced that shipment volumes of the two new models would be lower than expected and customers would have to wait for a longer time to receive new products, the Nikkei Asia report added.

In his remarks, Cooks had said that Apple has enhanced its effort to diversify its production base amid souring ties between US and China and pandemic-affected supply chain disruptions, particularly in China in 2022.

With agency inputs

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