updated 10:50 am EST, Fri January 20, 2012
Domestic investment waiver clears path
Apple could open retail stores in India following a change in local ownership rules, says a senior official with the country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. Apple has been in talks with the department for "some time," according to local business publication Mint, and is allegedly eager to retry the Indian market after having failed to make headway in 2006. Under previous rules, single-brand retailers like Apple would have had to have had at least a 49 percent domestic investment; now they can claim full ownership.
Companies like Apple -- with large amounts of foreign investment -- are still being required to source 30 percent of their product value from small businesses in the country. The DIPP official says, though, that the government might be willing to concede even that if can attract Apple. "Let Apple finalize its business plan and the investment it wants to make. If they tell us that the 30% sourcing is a problem, at that stage we will look into it," he is quoted as saying.
In 2006 Apple considered establishing an Indian technical support center, but quickly withdrew, deciding to build centers in other places instead. The country has since become a burgeoning market for Apple products, but has been limited to resellers, carrier outlets, and stores-within-stores known as Apple shops.