Seems like Apple CEO Tim Cook’s inaugural trip to India is already paying dividends.
Just a few days into his trip, Cook has reportedly come to an agreement with executives from Reliance Industries to supply millions of VoLTE iPhones to the company’s Reliance Jio carrier in India.
According to The Economic Times, Reliance is eager to bundle the iPhones with a data package and sell them through its own sales and distribution network of approximately 120,000 retailers. The Economic Times said the deal would be mutually beneficial, supporting Jio’s 4G network launch and helping Apple increase its device penetration in the country’s fast-growing mobile market. Apple devices currently account for about two percent of the market share in India.
The report also said Reliance is hoping to deploy enterprise retail solutions developed by Apple and IBM to boost in-store performance.
Reliance Jio, a relative newcomer in the India mobile arena, said in April it has more than 500,000 users.
Though a formal deal has yet to be signed, The Economic Times reported Cook has approved the relationship in principle.
The potential deal with Reliance could give Apple a sorely sought after boost in India.
Cook’s trip comes just two weeks after India’s telecommunications ministry shot down Apple’s request to sell refurbished iPhones in the country’s mobile device market. Apple is still reportedly seeking to open its first retail stores in the country.
This week, Apple announced plans to open a development office in Hyderabad for its Maps feature as well as an app design and development center in Bangalore. The latter facility is expected to open by early 2017.