While discussing his plans to grow Apple in India, Tim Cook, the CEO of the California-based company that makes the iphone and Mac, recently told The Hindu that he is "super impressed" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after his government rolled out the Goods and Service Tax (GST), last month.
"I am very bullish on India because of its people, its culture and the leadership. I love the culture and warmth of people. Every time I meet Prime Minister Modi and listen to him and then see his actions, including GST, I see bold things that I don't see in any other place. I am super impressed and optimistic. So what we are doing in India is to ramp up," Cook told the newspaper.
"Add to this how Reliance Jio has got their network up and running faster than any other carrier in the history of the world. I see all these things and I get super excited," he said.
Modi had interacted with Cook and the CEOs of the several leading American companies including Google's Sunder Pichai and Amazon's Jeff Bezos when he visited the United States for his first meeting US President Donald Trump in June.
Cook also told The Hindu that the local production of iphones in India was ramping up, and that there are now 7,50,000 iOS developer ecosystem-related jobs in India.
When it was pointed out that 95 percent of Indian smartphone users use Android, Cook said, That means we have a huge opportunity. But it's never been about volumes for us. I definitely want more...this is not about a quarter or a year or a decade, we want to be in India for a 1,000 years."
On when Apple would start selling its own retail in India, Cook said, "I do think we will have retail stores in India eventually, not tomorrow but over time."
On how Apple viewed growth in India as compared to China, Cook said, "Whether it will take the exact curve as China I don't know but I sense several similarities. In terms of infrastructure India was few years behind in terms of cellular network, but the speed at which that is changing is magnificent. So I see a lot of things moving in the direction which gives me the confidence that India has an exceptional future."
On how Apple planned to localize its new operating platform iOS11, Cook told The Hindu, "We are bringing Hindi to dictation. We have brought cricket to Siri. After going for a cricket match during my visit to India last year I realized that this was something we should have done already. We are also localizing our keyboards within iOS."
Apple for a year now has pressed the Indian government to sell pre-owned iPhone in India.
Speaking on the issue, Cook said, "I still believe that certified pre-owned phones will be good for India. It's a programme that's widely used in the U.S., all throughout Europe and almost every country in the world where we sell. We just have to do a better job explaining it and talking about the advantages. Over time hopefully and eventually we will get an agreement on that."
Read the full interview here.
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