After a lengthy five-day visit, Apple CEO Tim Cook left India with a note that he can’t wait to get back to the country.
Cook’s visit coincided with the iPhone maker’s 25-year presence in India. Cook arrived in India on Monday. The visit began with the launch of the first official Apple store in Mumbai on April 18, followed by a second in the national capital on April 20.
“What an amazing week in India! Thanks to our teams across the country. Can’t wait to be back,” tweeted Cook.
The company sells products in India through exclusive Apple Premium Reseller (APR) stores, large format retail chains like Reliance Digital, Croma etc., multi-brand retail stores and e-commerce platforms.
Apple has more than 100 APR stores in India.
One of APR’s stores was located in the Select CityWalk Mall, which had to move to a nearby mall to make way for the Apple Store.
Apple started manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017 after Cook’s last visit in 2016 with the low-cost iPhone SE to meet local market requirements. The company now exports “Made in India” iPhones.
Industry sources estimate that Apple exported iPhones in the range of $5 billion to $5.5 billion in the just-ended fiscal year 2022-23.
On his final day of visit to India, the Apple CEO met with Bharti Group founder and chairman Sunil Mittal, and both reaffirmed their commitment to working more closely together in India and Africa, Bharti Group said on Friday.
“Tim Cook and Sunil Bharti Mittal had an hour-long meeting this morning. In expressing their satisfaction for the long ongoing relationship that Apple and Airtel have enjoyed, (they) reaffirmed their commitment to working more closely together in the Indian and African markets,” Bharti Group said in a statement.
On the first day, Cook visited the home of India’s richest Mukesh Ambani, Antilla, for a business meeting and is said to have met other leading industrialists, including Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran.
After opening the first official store in Mumbai, Cook arrived in the national capital on the second leg of his visit, on Wednesday.
Before the opening of the Apple store in Saket, he visited the mesmerizing artistic lanes of the Lodhi Art District.
“Delhi’s Lodhi Art District is a remarkable public space. Kudos to the St+art India Foundation and so many amazing artists for capturing Indian life so powerfully. And thanks to Dattaraj Naik for showing me how you design your murals on iPad,” tweeted Cook, 62.
The walls of buildings lining the entire area boast the beautiful murals the city is famous for.
During his trip to Delhi, Cook met Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the iPhone maker is looking to invest more in the world’s second-largest smartphone market.
According to government sources, the iPhone maker is likely to double the job base at its contract manufacturers in India to around 2 lakh soon.
Looking to replicate what China has done to Apple’s business over the last 15 years, the tech giant is eyeing India’s huge market with a booming middle class to drive sales growth and potentially make it a base for producing millions of Apple devices.
During his visit, Cook met Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
According to the sources, Cook sought government support to expand its component supplier base in India.
The Apple CEO is known to have also discussed manufacturing facilities and app design and development accelerator in Bengaluru with the two ministers.
As in 2016, Cook again took time out to watch an IPL cricket match. He spent the night in Delhi attending an IPL cricket match with Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla and others. Cook attended an IPL cricket match with Shukla in Kanpur during his previous visit.
“Thank you so much for an unforgettable night!” Cook retweeted Ahuja’s tweet in which she shared her photo.
On the last day of his trip, Cook visited some app developers to try out their technology.
“It’s great to see so many developers across India pursuing their passion and sharing their ideas with users across the world. I was pleased to meet Hitwicket, India’s top rated cricket app, Prayoga, an AR-based yoga app, and LookUp, an easy-to-use dictionary app,” tweeted Cook.
He also shared his experience of “rangoli and kolam designs” made from flower petals, rice and colored sand that were captured on the iPhone.