New Delhi. Apple is reportedly shifting its focus towards India by reshuffling the management of its international businesses. The change in focus is said to have resulted in “India becoming Apple’s own sales territory”. The company is also promoting Ashish Chowdhary, managing director of Apple India, to oversee the India, Middle East, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Africa regions.
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The position was previously held by the recently retired Hughes Eckman. Chowdhary will reportedly report directly to Michael Fenger, Apple’s head of product sales. While the exact benefits of the change in India haven’t been highlighted, long-term benefits could include the rollout of services unavailable in India like Fitness+ and Wallet, job creation and even a reduction in the price of some items.
The report suggests that the latest changes will affect Apple’s management structure, but not the way it reports regional sales in public financial results. Apple reports its quarterly results in four parts and the India figures are part of its Europe category, along with the Middle East and Africa. Other markets include the Americas, Greater China, Japan and the rest of Asia Pacific.
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The growing importance of Apple to India was also underlined by Apple CEO Tim Cook on the last earnings call. “India is a very exciting market for us and a key focus for Apple”, he said, adding that “we are putting a lot of emphasis on the market.” In the last quarter, India, the Middle East and Africa and Europe were the key markets for Apple, while the company’s overall sales declined by 5 percent. Notably, Apple said the company saw an all-time record for iPhone sales in India last quarter without disclosing specific numbers or best-selling models.
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Apple is also expanding offline events in the country to promote the iPads. In February, Apple held its first physical Today in India Apple Sessions in New Delhi. Apple Today is an educational program where Apple partners with some creators to teach users how to use iPads and iPhones to create professional-looking content. The event is usually held at Apple’s official retail stores, which are yet to open in India. Last month there was a program at the India Art Fair in Delhi.
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The official website of Apple India reveals that the company is planning to open its first Apple Stores in Delhi and Mumbai this year. Apple is also hiring managers and store representatives for these locations. Apple may later expand its stores in India.
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