Apple's plans to open up proprietary stores in India might come to fruition, according to the latest reports.
The company has been interested in bringing its one-brand stores to India for some time. However, the local regulations require global ventures to outsource a minimum of 30 percent of manufacturing to local businesses. As Apple purchases most of its components from Chinese manufacturers, the discussions had reached a stalemate.
After a government committee purportedly recommended that Apple be allowed to fall under an exemption and open its stores, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board denied the request and urged the company to follow through with the sourcing policy.
Latest reports show that the exemption could be the definitive answer in Apple's case, but keep an eye on the fine print.
According to Times of India, the Indian government might allow the company to set up its store without sourcing parts to the local industry, provided that it does so for a period of two to three years only.
This means that in the 24 to 36 months of exemption, Apple should tie the knot with local businesses, allowing it to purchase the mandatory 30 percent of components from Indian manufacturers. Foxconn and Apple are already planning to start a manufacturing line in India that will supply components to iDevices.
The iOS developer has had its eyes on the Indian market for some time now. Momentarily, Indian customers can get Apple's products via authorized vendors or online.
Even if its market share currently reaches 2 percent, keep in mind that iPhones sales in the country surged by 56 percent during the last quarter. It is easy to see how brick and mortar stores would help boost these numbers even further.
"When you offer such a large market to a foreign supplier, it's only fair that you expect him to create some jobs in India," says finance minister Arun Jaitley.
Based on the report from Times of India, Apple is already purchasing its chargers from Indian sellers and trading them overseas.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May and discussed Apple's plans for the country. The iPhone manufacturer said it is planning to open up an iOS design and development accelerator and a Maps development center in India. The company stated that the IT infrastructure would lead to the creation of 4,000 jobs and is expected to be fully functional in 2017.