What Apple Really Sees In India

When Apple CEO Tim Cook used to talk about the market his company was focused on, it was all about China.

Now, during a time when Apple has faced a few setbacks in that market, it appears there’s another major market Cook is now seeing big potential in: India.

He’s made that clear in his recent visit to the area.

“The talent of the Indian people is unbelievable,” Cook said in an interview with India’s NDTV, according to a Wall Street Journal report. As a result, Cook noted the company will spend “several hundred million dollars” to improve its services and continue making headway in India.

Those investments include attempting to make its Maps service better, which has been traditionally dominated by Google.

But Apple has a long way to go to make a mark in India, as, according to Strategy Analytics research, Apple has just 2.7 percent of the market share in India. The problem, at the moment, is that the iPhone is still far too expensive for consumers in the region, who are used to phones that cost $150 or under.

Much of the high iPhone cost in India, however, has to do with taxes and import costs. Beyond that, carriers in the region don’t subsidize any costs of the phones, which drives up the prices. To combat that, Apple is working on a plan to bring down costs by adding a factory that refurbishes phones to sell cheaper in the region.

As for manufacturing phones in the region, Cook said: “It’s something that we look at; it’s not something that we have a plan to do at this point.”