Cook in India: Make way for Jio-powered VoLTE iPhones

  • Anirban Ghoshal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Mumbai
  • Updated: May 20, 2016 09:06 IST
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook visits the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Thursday. (PTI)

Soon nearly two million Reliance Jio-powered iPhones will make it to the India market and you will be able to pick one up if you are a VoLTE fan.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who is on his maiden visit to India, is believed to have entered into a long term strategic partnership with Reliance Industries for boosting iPhone sales and providing fillip to the new telecom service.

The decision to enter into a strategic partnership, which is believed to have Cook’s principle nod, was taken in a meeting between RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani and Cook in Mumbai from where the Apple top boss has kickstarted his India tour on Wednesday after arriving late on Tuesday. The CEO is on a charm offensive tour to Asia to boost the dwindling number of iPhone sales globally.

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India is a key market for Apple as it is the fastest growing smartphone market and has recently taken over US as the second largest smartphone market globally.

In addition to Jio-powered iPhones, both the top leaders have also decided to deploy an enterprise solution for Relaince’s retail outlets under which the Cupertino-based technology major will provide iPhones and iPads to its shop-floor employees to improve consumer experience.

While Reliance is believed to have pitched for the tieup keeping in mind that Apple’s iPhones bundled with Jio data will make a lucrative offering for consumers, the Cupertino-headquartered giant has asked Reliance to push its Apple Pay service in all Retail outlets.

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“Jio is better pitted among all other telcos to form a strategic partnership with Apple to push its products in other corners of the country,” Tarun Pathak, senior telecom analyst, Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said adding that Reliance was going to take the dominant role in the partnership.

“Apple Pay is directly in contrast to Jio’s own JioMoney wallet service and in case of Airtel, Wynk is in direct competition to Apple’s Music services,” Pathak explained. However, it will be interesting to see how the long-term strategic partnership moves forward.

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