Apple might finally be getting its way with the Indian government. Months after it requested for tax breaks to operate own retail stores in the country, reports suggest that the government is considering exemptions. This comes soon after Chinese handset manufacturer Oppo, among the top smartphone vendors in India now, was allowed to open outlets. Apple products are currently sold locally by authorized re-sellers. Also Read - Apple adds UPI, RuPay, net banking on App Store: How to add new payment methodsAlso Read - Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' job application sold for over Rs 2.5 crore
A government official told Reuters that Apple might be allowed to start retailing in return for local manufacturing of products. In August, Apple had asked the Indian government to extend tax breaks to its suppliers such that it can truly Make in India’ as opposed to merely assembling iPhones here. The Cupertino-based tech giant had also asked for tax-free imports, and the government agreed to accept the offer only if Apple expanded its manufacturing base in India. ALSO READ: Apple to ramp up local manufacturing, retail operations in India: CEO Tim Cook Also Read - Apple iOS 15, iPadOS 15 beta 4 released: What’s new, how to download
Currently, the Indian government allows foreign companies to set up single-brand retail stores only if 30 percent of the products sold are manufactured locally. The iPhone SE, Apple’s popular budget model, began production in India from May. If Apple can get the government to repeat the tax concessions it gets itself for all of its suppliers, it will bring down the overall cost of making iPhones, and benefits could eventually be transferred to Indian consumers. ALSO READ: Apple earnings: Tim Cook reports double digit growth in India even as global iPhone sales flatten
Apple CEO Tim Cook during his visit to India earlier this year had underscored his company’s contribution to India’s developer ecosystem. He stated that Apple had created nearly 7.5 lakh jobs in India’s app economy. Additionally, there were over 1 lakh apps created by Indian developers for the App Store. From Apple’s perspective, India is a critical market given its sales have dipped in China. And for India, which houses the world’s fastest-growing smartphone population, the possibility of cheaper iPhones is a sweet deal.