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Hyderabad gets ‘Baigan’ while Bangalore gets ‘Apple’

Hyderabad gets ‘Baigan’ while Bangalore gets ‘Apple’

HYDERABAD: In a first blow to the hollow promises made by Telangana Minister for IT, Electronics and Communication KT Rama Rao, the IT giant ‘Apple’ preferred Bengaluru as its assembling unit.

The hype created by the selfie king KTR ends up with ‘Baigan’ (Brinjal- the famous word used by Hyderabadis to project failure).

Last year, KTR led an IT department delegation on a week-long tour to the US with the agenda to attract investments in Telangana. He met industry leaders like Mark Hurd of Oracle, John Chambers of Cisco, and John Veihmeyer, of KPMG. He also met Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, and Amazon top brass who assured their continued support to the State’s initiatives in the IT space.

KTR said, “Google and Apple believe that there are a lot analytical abilities in India, there are a lot of problem solving abilities, great deal of attention to detail,” he added, “obviously which will all help in building wonderful maps.”

 The Government of Karnataka said Friday it welcomes Apple Inc.’s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in the city.

“Apple’s intentions to manufacture in Bengaluru will foster cutting edge technology eco system and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally,” an official release signed by Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge said.

Apple, which has not commented on the minister’s statement, remains a relatively small player in India, where sales of its smartphones lag those of rival Samsung.

But chief executive Tim Cook said this week it would “invest significantly” in the country of 1.25 billion people. “We have an understanding with Apple and we expect them to start manufacturing in Karnataka by the end of April,” State minister of Information Technology and Biotechnology Priyank Kharge told AFP.

He said the new operation would likely assemble iPhones for the domestic market. Apple has only a 2% share of the Indian market, well behind rival Samsung on 23%, according to research firm Canalys.

By pricing itself exclusively at the luxury end, Apple has distinguished its brand from Samsung which has both low-cost and high-end phones. Last year Apple had 48% of the premium sector in which phones sell for $450 and above.

It applied to open Apple Stores in India last year, but was reportedly rebuffed because of a diktat that states foreign retailers must source 30% of their products locally.

 

Apple currently sells through third-party retailers in India, which accounts for only around 1% of global iPhone sales. Experts say India’s giant population and low number of smartphone-owners relative to its size mean it is a huge potential market.

Last year, Cook visited India on a charm offensive and was pictured using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gold iPhone to launch the premier’s new app. Analysts said that if confirmed the move would be a coup for India’s government, which has been trying to persuade foreign companies to manufacture in the country.

Reports in Indian media said Wistron Corp, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, was lined up to assemble iPhones at a plant on the outskirts of tech hub Bangalore.

Apple outsources all its manufacturing globally.