Apple CEO Tim Cook to visit India and meet PM Narendra Modi

The company, like other smartphone vendors around the world, has been paying more attention to India in recent months.

Manish Singh
Manish Singh
Manish is a technology reporter based in India. He covers security, privacy, piracy, gadgets, and interesting things happening in the country. At other times, you'll find him playing Forza Motorsport 5. He plays the same level multiple times to earn more points. He likes points.
2 min read
Enlarge Image
Josh Miller/CNET

With India slowly becoming one of the fastest growing markets for the iPhone, Apple is looking for ways to bolster its presence in the country.

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be visiting India on Tuesday to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Cook is expected to utilize this trip to announce several of company's plans for the nation.

His first official visit to India as Apple CEO, Cook will be flying to India from China, where he recently made a $1 billion investment in ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.

Cook will be visiting multiple cities in the country. During his stay, he's expected to announce a startup accelerator program in India with an aim to foster development of iOS apps, according to the Economic Times.

It's also rumoured that the company will open three Apple Stores throughout the country within the next 18 months, one each in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. CNET understands, however, that this information hasn't come from an official source.

In the past few months, Apple has posted several job applications on its website seeking Maps engineers and Apple Sales Consultant among others, hinting at expansion of its software and services to better serve Indian customers.

Cook's visit to India comes months after Modi's visit to the Silicon Valley last year where he met a number of top executives, including Cook. The two then talked about the Make in India program, an initiative to encourage national as well as international companies to manufacture their products in India.

Over the months, Apple has started to recognize and acknowledge the importance of India in its strategic plans. In the last few months, the company has applied to set up its own stores and also requested the permission to import and sell refurbished iPhone in the cost-sensitive country -- a request that was reportedly denied.

The company shipped 800,000 devices in India during the October-December period last year, according to CounterPoint Research. It was its best shipments figure in India, said Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint.