Apple was planning to build three of its temples of the holy cash pile in India, known as “Apple Stores” but the Indians have told the fruity cargo cult that it must meet a rule obliging foreign retailers to sell at least 30 percent locally-sourced goods.
This has poured cold water on Apple’s plans to use the Apple Stores as a base to rapidly convert the Indians away from their old gods and to something more consumer orientated. India’s smartphone market is still growing, while the rest of the world is losing interest.
A change in legislation last year exempted foreign retailers selling high-tech goods from the rule, which states 30 percent of the value of goods sold in the store should be made in India.
Apple’s products were not considered to be in this category and the company asked for a waiver. However for some reason the Cargo cult did not think that it needed to prove that it needed one. After all Apple is used to just telling governments what to do and they do it.
As a result the Indians looked at the application and rejected it. The waiver is available only for investment in “state of the art” or “cutting-edge technology” an official said. Apple is apparently neither.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Saturday. The trip was supposed set the stage for Apple’s expansion plans. Apple planned to open at least three stores in India by the end of 2017.